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•presented to 
of ilje 

Pntt^rstly of Toronto 

The Estate of 
the late John Brundle 



" The Antarctic Pole is a place with a past of meagre romance. Dr. Fricker's 
book embodies that past. It is an exhaustive account of what has been done up to 
the time of its going to press." — Academy. 

"An excellent summary of all that, up to the date of the Newnes Expedition, 
has been accomplished in Antarctic exploration." — Daily News. 

"Among the modern books on the Southern ice regions with accounts of 
attempts to penetrate the great frozen cap this is one of the best we have seen. 
The illustrations are very striking and give a good idea to the reader of the 
fantastically wilcl cnaracter o: the ice shapes and more stable land-contours." — 
Science Gossip. 

"As a playground for the hardy adventurer the South Pole is without a 
parallel, and Dr. Fricker's collected notes show what brave men have already done 
towards its exploration and what yet remains for others to accomplish." — Daily 

" The book is a good compilation thoroughly to be recommended. The history 
of Antarctic Exploration is dealt with fully. The chapter dealing with the ice is 
particularly interesting, lor the problems awaiting solution are clearly pointed 
out." — A thenaum. 

" Dr. Fricker has brought within brief compass the salient points in the 
discoveries of all the Antarctic explorers since Capt. Cook made his daring journey 
in that region, and has assigned the honour of first discovering various southern 
lands to the navigator who merits the palm." — Dundee Advertiser. 

" It need hardly be said that in a work so scientific the maps have been con- 
structed with great care. As for the plates and illustrations, which are numerous 
and beautifully finished, the author assures us that they are in every respect 
authentic, having been taken exclusively from the works of explorers, and none of 
them left to the imagination of the artist." — Glasgow Herald. 

" A first-rate translation of an interesting and valuable book. As a handbook 
on the subject the volume is both complete and reliable, every fact being carefullv 
authenticated. We recommend the volume to the attention of all who are 
interested in Arctic and Antarctic exploration as an excellent guide to what has 
been accomplished throughout the centuries. A feature of special interest is the 
large number oi illustrations, which have been collected from important and 
authenticated sources, many of them never having been published before." — 
nistcr QaMi Hi . 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 





This Book is now published by 

Ruskin House, 








First Edition, August, 1900; Second Edition, 
May 1904. 


Little apology seems needed just at the present time 
for the publication of a new book, if only a translation 
from a foreign language, on the subject of Antarctic 
exploration. Germany and Belgium are actively fitting 
out expeditions under Government auspices, and in 
England private munificence has come to the assistance 
of the Learned Societies to whom a conditional Parlia- 
mentary grant of ,£45,000 has already been promised. 
Scotland, too, we hear, is fitting out an expedition to 
work in combination with the others. 

This book, being at once comprehensive and concise, 
will enable the public to realise all that has been done in 
the past, and to estimate how much still remains to be 
done in the future, in the vast field of Antarctic ex- 

Since 1843, when Sir James Ross returned from the 
Antarctic, attention has been almost exclusively centred 
in Arctic exploration. The unexplored area around the 
North Pole has gradually receded, until in 1895, under 
Dr. Nansen, the high latitude of 86° 14' N. was reached. 
This is 500 miles nearer the pole than the highest latitude 
— 78° 10' S. — attained by Sir J. Ross in the southern 
hemisphere. But since 1892 the tide of interest has 
turned, and the South Pole again offers a field of 
danger, difficulty, enterprise and scientific research to 
the explorer. 

A Belgian expedition under De Gerlache left Antwerp 
in 1897, an d the preparations for a splendidly-equipped 
German expedition, under the leadership of Herr Erich 
von Drygalski, are being rapidly pushed forward : the 


special ship building for it, under the advice of the 
Construction Department of the German Imperial Navy, 
is alone to cost ,£30,000. 

Since going to press, Sir G. Newnes' expedition, 
under the scientific direction of Dr. Borchgrevingk, has 
returned, having attained the important scientific object 
of the location of the Southern Magnetic Pole — or rather 
the group of points of intense magnetic influence, of 
which a Magnetic Pole is now supposed to consist ; longi- 
tude, 146° E. ; latitude, J 3 2d S. The voyage seems to 
have been full of unexpected discoveries, and of unique 
opportunities afforded by a whole year of steady work on 
shore, with the help of sledge journeys for making addi- 
tional observations. Thus on 16th February, 1900, the 
Southern Cross reached the extreme southern limit 
of her voyage, and Mr. Borchgrevingk went on nearly 
due south by sledge for a day's journey, reaching latitude 
yS° 50' S., the " farthest south " yet visited. The tale of 
that long and dreary Antarctic winter, 2,500 miles from 
the nearest point of land in Australia, will add one element 
of human interest that has not till now enlivened the 
records of southern exploration. In view of lectures and 
books dealing with the latest voyage, and also the results 
to be expected from the National Antarctic Expedition 
under Dr. Gregory as its scientific head, and Lieutenant 
R. F. Scott as commander, the present volume will, it 
is hoped, fulfil its purpose of rousing and stimulating 
interest in enterprises that specially appeal to British 

The Translator. 


When I was honoured with the inquiry whether I 
should feel disposed to undertake the preparation of 
the volume on The Antarctic Regions, some doubts and 
difficulties lay in the way of an immediate affirmative 
response. The gravity of the task, especially in the 
light of the very short time accorded to it, was from the 
first obvious, and all the more so because I had not the 
actual and personal acquaintance with the regions to be 
described that is exacted by the conditions under which 
such a work should, ideally, be undertaken. This draw- 
back, it must be acknowledged, has relatively diminished 
in importance since the recent death of Captain Dallmann, 
for no one now in Germany has with his own eyes beheld 
the Antarctic world, and so far as adequate compensation 
for such drawback can be made, it has been secured by 
drawing everywhere and in the forefront upon all available 
sources in their complete and original form — a list of the 
more important of which will be found in the Appendix 
to this volume. 

Another and a supreme difficulty, in the way of a 
satisfactory account of the Antarctic regions, is the re- 
markably scanty information that was collected during 
certain few voyages of exploration that spread over more 
than ioo years. The unavoidable gaps, however, drive 
home one important fact — the absolute necessity, in the 
cause of science, of voyages of Antarctic exploration. 
For this reason the history of voyages of discovery 
occupies a space that in any description of another 
geographical area would rightly be regarded as ex- 
cessive. It would, however, be quite impossible to 

viii PREFACE. 

justify the scant knowledge possessed concerning the 
Antarctic regions unless all details were given. 

The enforced brevity of the descriptions is, however, 
compensated for by the authentic illustrations. They 
are taken exclusively from works of travel ; not a single 
one has been subjected to imaginative touches, still less 
to the invention of the delineator. My thanks are due 
to Herr Rudolf Fitzner for his selection of the numerous 
plates taken from the Atlas Pittoresque of Dumont 
d'Urville's great work, and also for his vigilant super- 
vision in the production of both plates and text. 

Besides the illustrations that have been taken from 
older works, the reader will find new ones, some now pub- 
lished for the first time. I owe Dr. Georg Neumayer, 
Privy Councillor to the Admiralty, Director of the 
German Marine Observatory, and a past master of 
Antarctic exploration, my cordial thanks for the ample 
assistance he has afforded from his store of scientific 
knowledge. Equal courtesy has been shown me by 
Dr. John Murray, D.Sc, LL.D., Ph.D., F.R.S., the 
eminent member of the Challenger expedition, and one 
of the editors of the magnificent series of volumes dealing 
with its results. The present work is embellished by 
numerous illustrations of icebergs from observations 
made on board the Challenger, Dr. Murray having 
kindly entrusted me with the water-colour drawings — 
some not before published — for reproduction. 

The general map of the Antarctic regions is based 
in all essentials on the excellent large map by Vincenz 
V. Haardt, though some additions and corrections have 
been made by the Author, who has thus set forth his 
own conclusions, more particularly in connection with 
the extent of the land ; his reasons are fully given in 
the text. 

Karl Fricker. 



I. Position and Limits i 

II. History of Discovery 6 

Opinions of the Ancient and Mediaeval World respect- 
ing the Far South. Amerigo Vespucci 6 

The New Terra Australis and the Proof of its Non- 
existence 15 

From Cook to Balleny 46 

Dumont D'Urville ; Wilkes; Ross 67 

Voyages after Ross to the Present Time 117 

III. Conformation of the Surface and Geological 

Structure 132 

1. The Bouvet Islands 136 

2. The Island of South Georgia 139 

3. The South Sandwich Islands 149 

4. The South Orkney Islands 152 

5. The South Shetland Islands 155 

6. The Dirk Gerritz Archipelago 170 

7. Graham's Land and Alexander Land 186 

8. Victoria Land 194 

9. The Balleny Isles 208 

10. Wilkes Land 210 

n. Enderby Land and the Neighbouring Districts 223 

IV. Climate 228 

V. The Ice 246 

VI. Fauna and Flora 266 

VII. The Future of Antarctic Discovery 274 

VIII. List of Important Books, Articles and Maps 283 

IX. Index 287 


The Inaccessible Islands (after Dumont d'Urville) Frontispiece 


Iceberg in the Southern Orkney Isles (after Dumont d'Urville) 62 

Landing at Adelie Land (after Dumont d'Urville) 84 

James Clark Ross (after a steel engraving in the possession of 

Dr. G. Neumayer) 92 

Landing at the Weddell Islands (after Dumont d'Urville) 152 

Elephant Island (after Dumont d'Urville) 156 

The Astrolabe lying off Louis-Philippe Land (after Dumont 

d'Urville) 174 

The Challenger in the Ice (after an unpublished drawing) 224 

The Astrolabe and La Zelee in the Ice (after Dumont d'Urville) 248 

Forms of Icebergs (after the Challenger Reports) 252, 254, 256 



Terra Australis (after Schoner's Globe of 1533) 16- 

Terra Australis (after Ortelius, 1571) 21 

Terra Australis (after Mercator, 1648) 26. 

Captain James Cook 35 

Possession Bay, South Georgia . 43 

Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen 49 

Jules Sebastien Cesar Dumont d'Urville 71 

Ice Structure in the South Orkney Islands 72 

Icebergs to the North of Adelie Land 76 

The Astrolabe and La Zelee on the Coast of Adelie Land 77 

Discovery of the Clarie Coast 80 

Charles Wilkes 82 

The Vincennes in Disappointment Bay 86> 

Mount Minto and Mount Adam 96 



Cape Crozier and Mount Terror g8 

Map of South Georgia 143 

Map of the South Sandwich Isles 151 

Map of the South Orkney Islands 153 

Map of the Dick Gerritz Archipelago 157 

Bridgeman Island 164. 

Map of Deception Island 165 

View of Deception Island :... - 167 

Louis-Philippe Land 177 

Mount Haddington and Cape Gage 179 

Cockburn Island and Admiralty Bay 183 

Map of Victoria Land 196 

Mount Sabine and Possession Island 198 

Coulman Island 201 

Volcano of Mount Erebus and Beaufort Island 203 

Great Ice Barrier 205 

Map of Wilkes Land 211 

Cape Hudson (two views) 214 

View of Adelie Land at Cap de la Decouverte 215 

Adelie Land 215 

Pointe Geologie 216 

Coast Island at Pointe Geologie 217 

Adelie Land (two views) ...... 218 

View of the Coast of Clarie 219 

Map of the Distribution of Temperature 235 

Map of the Distribution of Atmospheric Pressure 239 

Icebergs [Challenger Expedition) 251, 256, 261 

Tussock Grass 267 

Georg Neumayer 275 

John Murray 278 


The very word Antarctic indicates the situation of the 
region to be described in the following pages ; it is the 
opposite, the antipodes, of the Arctic region : in other 
words, the tracts surrounding the South Pole, as those 
surround the North Pole. It is thus the polar cap of the 
southern hemisphere of our planet to which we turn our 
attention, and we immediately dispense with the limits 
indicated by longitude, since the region before us includes 
the whole circumference in the higher southern latitudes. 
The inquiry as to the limits of latitude to be assigned 
to the Antarctic regions is not so readily met, and it is 
by no means easy to decide what may justly be con- 
sidered its limits. A glance at the map shows that the 
terms Antarctic and southern polar zone cannot be strictly 
regarded as convertible terms. The latter is limited by 
the south polar circle, a purely mathematical line owing 
its significance to the relative position of our earth to the 
sun, and the consequently varying length of the day— 
a variation that (within the polar circle) lies between 24 
hours and o. On the other hand, the countries hitherto 
discovered round the South Pole, and unconnected with 
the land of any other portion of the earth, universally 
though only slightly exceed the limits of the polar circle 
in the direction of the equator. It is well known that 
the same difference is to be found between the north 
polar zone and north polar lands, since a large portion 
of Greenland as well as the essentially polar country 
of Baffin's Bay both extend to the south of the Arctic 


circle ; yet it would not occur to any one to regard the 
southern section of Greenland outside the polar circle — 
scarcely, if at all, differing in its natural conditions from 
the northern section — as other than polar country. It is 
impossible therefore to assign limits to polar regions by 
a mere mathematical line, and they must be taken to 
include all regions having, in the first and foremost 
place, an essentially polar climate. But even so, the 
difficulty of determining the limits of the Antarctic region 
does not entirely disappear. A glance at the map be- 
tween 50° and 6o° S. latitude shows a number of 
islands, far distant from larger masses of land, such as 
South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, and the 
Bouvet Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Marion 
Islands, the Crozet Islands, Kerguelen and Heard Island 
in the Southern Indian Ocean. All these islands lie to 
the south of a line within which the mean temperature 
of the warmest month scarcely reaches the point which 
has been accepted as the determining limit of the polar 
climate, viz., 50° F. Moreover, this circle would include 
not only the Falkland Isles, not far distant from the 
coast of South America, but even a portion of the west 
coast of South America itself, and we should thus have 
to deal with too extensive a region under the heading of 
the Antarctic. Another and better definition and limit is 
readily found in the distribution of ice. 

Upon all, or nearly all, maps representing the southern 
hemisphere the name " Antarctic Ocean " is entered all 
round the South Pole, although there is actually nowhere 
any land or even submarine elevation to justify such a 
limitation. On the contrary, the three great oceans of 
the earth, the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, 
completely merge into one another south of a line drawn 
from the Cape of Good Hope to the south coast of 
Australia, and only the narrow South American continent 
comes as an incomplete barrier between the Atlantic and 


Pacific as far south as 56° S. latitude. As a matter of fact, 
therefore, the waters unite in one universal ocean, and 
their separation south of the Antarctic circle is in itself 
purely arbitrary. Nevertheless, it is quite allowable to 
retain the notion of a separate polar sea, if we thereby 
indicate the physical characteristics of the south polar 
regions. If now we define the southern polar sea as the 
region which is reached by floating ice-floes, and the 
Antarctic countries as the countries lying within this 
zone, we secure a working limit. Approximately it tallies 
with 59° or 6o° S. latitude, although in the Atlantic it is 
somewhat lower, including, as it does, the islands and 
island groups of South Georgia, the South Sandwich and 
the Bouvet Islands. As undoubted Antarctic countries 
three regions are encountered, of which the first may 
include the islands and perhaps mainland lying to the 
south of the South American continent — the Dirk- 
Gerritz Archipelago with Graham's Land, Alexander 
Land, and Peter I. Island far away to the west. The 
most advanced station to the north and east is occupied 
by the South Orkney Islands in latitude 6i° S. and 
longitude 45 W., in a latitude approaching that of 
Bergen or the northernmost Shetland Isles in the north- 
ern hemisphere, and somewhat west of the meridian of 
Rio de Janeiro, and of Cape Farewell, the southern ex- 
tremity of Greenland. The southernmost point therefore 
of the north polar lands and the corresponding northern- 
most point of the south polar lands lie on the same 
meridian of longitude. These countries are washed on 
the east by the South Atlantic, and these waters received 
the name of George IV. Sea from their discoverer Weddell. 
The present author elsewhere proposes the name of 
Weddell Sea instead. Towards the north the land forms 
a southern boundary of the waters uniting the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, so that compared with the complete union of 
the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the one hand, and of 


the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the other, this portion 
partakes of the nature of straits. The present author 
therefore proposes the name of Drake's Straits, in honour 
of the great English hero and navigator who was the 
first to investigate these waters. Finally, to the west, 
the extreme south-eastern portion of the Pacific Ocean 
washes the shores of Graham's and Alexander Lands, 
whose most distant accurately-seen point, Peter I. Island, 
is situated in latitude 6o° S. and longitude 91° W. ; 
approximately therefore on the meridian of St. Louis, or 
New Orleans, in the United States of North America. 

A second, and according to present knowledge far 
less extensive, tract of country lies to the south of the 
Indian Ocean ; these are the coasts known as Enderby 
Land and Kemp Land, occupying on the Antarctic circle 
about the space lying between 46 and 6o° of E. 
longitude. In regard of the meridians it therefore cor- 
responds in extent to Persia, though it must be borne 
in mind that in these high latitudes the distance between 
two meridians is scarcely the half of the same meridians 
in the mean latitude of Persia. Towards the west of 
the two coasts named above, it is conjectured that more 
land exists, but these doubtful appearances of land will 
be discussed completely further on. 

Last of all there remains a third group of Antarctic 
lands, the largest of all, to the south of the Australian 
continent. Here land has been more or less distinctly 
seen over a region extending from 105 E. longitude to 
1 55° W. longitude, therefore across upwards of ioo°. 
The northernmost point of this tract is Cape Carr in 
about 65° S. latitude and 132 E. longitude, approximately 
on the meridian of the Japanese island of Kiusiu, or the 
western part of New Guinea. To the west of 165 E. 
longitude the land known as Wilkes Land lies close along 
the line of the Antarctic circle, to the east it apparently 
sweeps in two stretches towards the south, and bears 


the name of Victoria Land. The region connected with 
this far away to the south is known as the Great Ice 
Barrier, and the open bay of the Pacific between the 
barrier and Victoria Land is known as Ross' Sea. 

Thus all the countries, or rather all the coasts, have 
been named which human discovery has up to the 
present brought to our knowledge of the Antarctic. As 
to the probability that renewed explorations will dis- 
cover more and that all the parts named will be found 
to belong to one and the same south polar continent, 
or whether they are merely scattered island groups, 
these points will be discussed at the close of this work. 
In the present state of our knowledge, it would evidently 
be presumptuous to undertake the calculation of the 
area of the Antarctic land-surface. Taking the equal 
division of land and water in the hitherto unexplored 
area of the south polar regions for granted — a mere 
conjecture — Hermann Wagner gives 3,500,000 square 
miles as the extent of the land in the Antarctic regions, 
an area therefore equal to that of the continent of 
Australia with Oceana. 



It is a remarkable phenomenon that in most sciences the 
history of discovery repeats itself, and that deductive 
speculation presses forward far in advance of inductive 
investigation — in as far of course as both can be applied 
to a particular science — and often arrives at surprising 
conclusions, which frequently are entirely forgotten later 
on until time has proved them to be correct ; on the other 
hand perfejtly mistaken conceptions petrify into dogma in 
the course of centuries and are preserved intact until their 
error is proved by overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 
The history of geography forms no exception to this rule. 
Like almost all other sciences it is firmly rooted in the 
ground of ancient Greek speculations, and the opinions 
on which it was based dominated the whole period of the 
Middle Ages, partly through the medium of Arabic 
learning; and only a few choice spirits attempted to 
develop it in any spirit of progress beyond the most 
primitive conception. Just as Aristotle was the recognised 
authority in natural science, so in geography was the re- 
nowned physicist, astronomer and geographer, Claudius 
Ptolemy. It is to him that we owe, perhaps not the 
earliest, but certainly the most definite notion of an 
extensive southern continent on our planet, with carto- 
graphic representations of the union of south-eastern Asia 
with Africa in such a manner that the Indian Ocean is 
regarded as a closed inland sea like the Mediterranean. 



It also assigned southern limits to the Atlantic Ocean 
on the west coast of Africa. Neither was Ptolemy the 
first to give expression to this view ; his predecessors in 
the field of scientific geography — Seleucus, Eratosthenes, 
Hipparchus and Strabo — had at least held no different 
conception of the outlines of the Indian Ocean, and 
according to the opinion of many the conjecture can 
be traced back even to Aristotle. But the earlier 
geographers are justified by the fact that the outlines 
of the east coast of Africa were known to them only as 
far as the region of the lower ranges of the Spice 
mountains, at present known as Cape Gardafui, and 
they might therefore assume that the coast stretched 
still farther away to the east, an impression doubtless 
strengthened by the situation of the outlying island of 
Socotra. These conjectures, however, must have been 
given up in the case of Ptolemy ; he knew from the 
singularly accurate sailing hand-books of the Greek and 
Arabian mariners who visited the east coast of Africa 
from Adana — the modern Aden — that the coast line ran 
not only south, but south-west, in their voyages to the 
extreme southern stations at which they stopped. These 
voyages generally ceased at the promontory of Rhaptum, 
probably the modern Kilwa on the coast of German East 
Africa. Concerning this promontory, some ancient sail- 
ing rules which have been preserved since the first 
century of the Christian era — the Periplus Maris Ery- 
thraei — state that "the universal and unexplored ocean 
stretches away beyond Rhaptum to the west, where, to 
the south of Ethiopia, Lybia and Africa, it unites with 
the western (i.e., the Atlantic) ocean ". The general 
direction of the African coast was therefore very well 
known, whether the knowledge was derived from the 
accounts of Arabian mariners, or from the traditions of the 
circumnavigation of Africa by Phoenician vessels in the 
sixth and seventh centuries before the Christian era. In 


any event, Ptolemy, through his firm hold of the 
dogma that the Indian and perhaps even the Atlantic 
Ocean was enclosed, was the originator of the views held 
with the greatest tenacity till only last century, respect- 
ing the existence of a great terminal southern continent. 
This Terra australis, either inhabitable or inhabited, 
and presumably the extreme boundary of the earth in the 
south, was proved by the discoveries of the great 
navigator James Cook to have no existence as regards 
its assumed character and contour. 

In the Middle Ages, Arabic learning and science took 
the place of that of ancient Greece ; indeed the Greek 
notions respecting the world owe their continued trans- 
mission and existence to oriental teaching. In Christian 
Europe this knowledge was limited to a few learned 
thinkers ; while among the larger numbers of the com- 
paratively educated, even in the days of the fathers of 
the Church, Greek science and speculation gradually 
sank into complete neglect and oblivion. Meanwhile 
the Arabs preserved not only the correct, but also the 
erroneous, teaching of the Greeks in the matter of geo- 
graphy. Above all, they held with pedantic obstinacy 
to the views of Ptolemy as to an enclosed Indian 
Ocean, even though they took its southern boundary 
to be merely an unknown country. Moreover, they 
made the almost unpardonable mistake of representing 
the African coast from Cape Gardafui onwards as 
stretching away to the east, so that the Sofala coast 
on their charts lay opposite to the island of Ceylon, and 
Madagascar even in the neighbourhood of the Sunda 
Isles. This dogmatism was all the more indefensible 
because the Arab sailors were perfectly well acquainted 
with the actual facts. Moreover, eminent geographers, 
whose own travels extended to the East African coast 
— for instance, the renowned Mas'udi (died 956) — em- 
phatically declared that the direction of the coast as 


maintained by learned men was found by sailors to be 
entirely false. Nevertheless, the ancient opinion held 
its ground, and would have lived on much longer but 
for the general spread of knowledge in the west, based 
on the accounts brought back from voyages of enter- 
prise and by numerous missionaries. The Italians first, 
and after them the Portuguese, navigated the west coast 
of Africa, and were enabled by the help of the compass 
to make more accurate outlines of the coast. As early as 
the end of the thirteenth century, two Genoese vessels set 
off with the object of discovering the passage to the 
Indies round Africa, though they never returned home. 
Thus the belief in the great Ptolemaic southern boundary 
had been entirely given up by navigators, indeed, an 
imaginary outline of Africa which came very near the 
truth was actually drawn. But geographers and carto- 
graphers found it impossible to entirely give up the old 
delineations ; the German navigator, Martin Behaim, 
even after the discovery of the southern extremity of 
Africa in 1487 by Bartholomew Diaz, distorted the out- 
lines on his celebrated globe in the year 1492. He gave 
the coast a markedly eastern direction, and by means of 
a huge repetition of the island of Zanzibar in addition 
to Madagascar brought the meridian out to that of the 
mouth of the Ganges. 

One might suppose that the complete circumnaviga- 
tion of Africa by Vasco da Gama would have proved the 
non-existence of the fabulous great southern land, and 
driven the idea from the minds and charts of contem- 
poraries. On the contrary, however, the great Austral 
country reappeared after a few decades, more fantastic 
and extensive than ever. Of course, it did not correspond 
to the reports of seamen, but depended on the arbitrary 
exposition of isolated facts and observations by means 
of geography and cartography. Land, perhaps even 
only ice, was linked and set down together to form 


the great " Terra Australis incognita or " nondum 
coonita ". 

In the year 1500 an accidental and totally unexpected 
extension of the knowledge of geography took place. On 
a voyage to the East Indies the Portuguese admiral, 
Pedralvarez Cabral, took a westerly course, in order to 
avoid the calms in the equatorial zones in rounding" the 
Cape of Good Hope. Thus the coast of Brazil was 
discovered. He took it to be an island, gave it the 
name of Ilha da Vera Cruz, and sent back one of his 
vessels to Lisbon with the news of his discovery. A 
flotilla was immediately equipped, and it set out in the 
following year to explore the coasts of the newly-found 
land. Under whose command this expedition was placed 
is unknown, but Amerigo Vespucci took part in it, prob- 
ably as pilot. The letters of this famous Florentine to 
Pier Francesco di Medici are the only source extant for 
any information about this voyage. The survey of the 
coast line of Brazil itself, for which the name Terra 
Americi or America was proposed by the German geo- 
grapher, Hylacomylus, in 1507, is of no interest here. 
Our interest centres in the land subsequently sighted, 
since this was possibly the very first discovery made in the 
regions defined above as Antarctic. Vespucci relates, 
not without ample reference to his own deserts, how the 
coast of Brazil was explored and named, from Cape 
St. Roque to the Bay of Cananea. There, for some 
unexplained reason, the further exploration of the coast 
was abandoned on the frontiers of the modern states of 
St. Paulo and Parana, and the expedition sailed into the 
open sea on the 13th (or — the accounts vary — the 15th) 
of February in a south-easterly direction. On the 3rd 
of April Vespucci reckoned that they had made 500 
nautical miles (leghe in the old Italian accounts), equiva- 
lent in round numbers to 1800 modern nautical miles. 
Four days later, on the 7th of April, new land, inacces- 


sible by reason of the cliffs, was sighted. " There were 
no inhabitants, doubtless by reason of the cold, against 
which all precautions are unavailing. We approached 
the coast and sailed twenty miles along it." The highest 
southern latitude reached was 52° or 50° — the readings in 
the editions of Vespucci's account differ. 

The statements of the Florentine navigator have 
raised suspicion, if not doubt and uncertainty, since the 
history of discovery has been subjected to modern criti- 
cism. His testimony appeared untrustworthy, especially 
as he was supposed— probably unjustly — to wish to give 
his own name to the new continent. At length search 
was made for a country that he might perhaps after all 
have discovered ; but in vain. In the direction indicated, 
viz., S.E. of Cananea, there is no land whatever, so that 
the conclusion was arrived at that the whole voyage 
to high southern latitudes was an invention. Such a 
possibility is, however, not to be accepted, since there 
must have been persons enough among the members 
of the expedition — it consisted of three vessels — to have 
refuted the statements of the pilot. Neither is the sup- 
position tenable that an error was made in giving S.E. 
as the direction instead of S.W., for the coast of Brazil 
stretches due south 250 miles from Cananea. The state- 
ments of Vespucci must therefore be accepted as correct, 
and fitted as nearly as possible to actual circumstances. 
Various conjectures, based on the latitude given, have 
been made as to the inhospitable coast seen by the 
Portuguese. The coast of Eastern Patagonia (A. v. 
Humboldt), the Falkland Isles- — whose latitude and 
appearance fall in with the description — and finally the 
island of South Georgia (Varnhagen) have been sug- 
gested. The last seems worthy of acceptance. The 
objection to the Falkland Isles is the direction of the 
course given. The vessels, certainly, after leaving the 
Bay of Cananea, must have entered the region of the 


Brazilian ocean-current, which here sets in to the 
S.S.W., but this would later on have carried them 
S.E. and E., especially in the eastern part, into which 
the Portuguese immediately steered. The Falkland 
Isles, on the other hand, are washed by the Falkland 
Island current with a direction of N. or N.N.E., which 
would also have carried the ships to the E. rather than 
to the W. Still less does Vespucci's short description 
serve for the east coast of Patagonia. The coast line 
certainly extends from Cape Tres Puntas to Hilly Point 
almost due north and south, and belongs to the peninsula 
to the south of the Gulf of San Iago. This line, however, 
reaches only a south latitude of 46° to 48°, therefore 
considerably to the north of the latitude indicated by 
Vespucci. Moreover, the course thither lies still farther 
to the S.W., and farther within the Falkland current 
than the Falkland Isles themselves. 

If we regard the island of South Georgia as the 
land discovered by Vespucci or the Portuguese ex- 
pedition, the larger number of data seem fairly to agree. 
In the first place the Portuguese steered to the S.E. 
from Cananea ; of course they naturally fell in with the 
Brazil-current, which must have given such poor sailing 
vessels an appreciable southerly direction. But this 
might farther on be equalised, for the Brazil-current 
sweeps round to the east in the neighbourhood of 40 
S. latitude. If the ships sailed on to the S.E. they 
would enter the region of the westward drift-current 
also tending east, and if the southerly course was 
continued they might easily reach the neighbourhood of 
South Georgia. The distance was estimated by Ves- 
pucci on the 3rd of April to be 500 leghe or 2050 miles, 
but, as before stated, land was not sighted till four days 
later, so that an additional and probably not inconsider- 
able distance must be allowed for. The exact distance 
of the Bay of Cananea from the north coast of South 


Georgia is about 1760 nautical miles. If the round- 
about course taken in consequence of the currents by 
the Portuguese ships is kept in mind, the statement 
neither of the distance nor of the direction would offer any- 
serious difficulty. It is less easy to reconcile Vespucci's 
latitude with the latitude of South Georgia, which is 
54 and 55° S. But even this is no insuperable obstacle, 
as Peschel points out that errors of three degrees of 
latitude on the high seas are by no means unusual in 
the reckonings of the first half of the sixteenth century. 
If such errors are made under the clear skies of 
the trade winds, they should cause no surprise if made 
on the stormy South Atlantic Ocean with its gloomy 
and misty weather. Indeed, it does not even appear 
that Vespucci's reckoning of 52 S. on the 3rd of April 
was intended to be applied to the land then lying farther 
south. Finally, the description of the coast of the 
country discovered points to the possibility that it was 
that of South Georgia. Vespucci says they sailed twenty 
leghe (eighty miles) along the coast, and the north coast 
between its two northernmost points, Cape Buller and 
Cape Charlotte, is of just this extent in South Georgia. 
A. v. Humboldt, who was warmly interested in this 
discovery by the Portuguese, and was of opinion that 
East Patagonia was indicated, found a difficulty in the 
statement that the ships sailed twenty leghe (eighty 
miles; along the coast. His explanation leaves the dis- 
crepancy untouched, but it entirely disappears when 
applied to South Georgia. 

Another circumstance supports the case for the 
island — the mention of the severe cold, which seemed to 
exclude the idea that it was inhabited. This could not 
have been stated of the coast of East Patagonia even in 
the winter of the southern hemisphere (April corresponding 
to November w T ith us). According to modern observa- 
tions the mean temperature in the coldest month is about 


41° F. Even the Falkland Islands have a mean temper- 
ature of 50° F. in April, while in South Georgia, the 
German Royal Bay station ascertained in 188 1-2 that 
the mean, including twenty-three frosty days, fell no 
lower than 7,3° F. One remarkable fact Vespucci did 
not record, namely the snow - covering, for South 
Georgia is thickly covered with snow on the loftier 
heights, even in the summer. But this omission becomes 
less important if the times and their theories be taken 
into account. Of districts and regions lying beyond 50 
N. only middle and western Europe were personally 
known to the great explorers who came from the countries 
surrounding the Mediterranean. To these the con- 
nection between winter and snow-covering would seem 
so ordinary as not to call for mention, and would be 
equally applied to the southern hemisphere. Moreover, 
Vespucci added to his account the remark : " It was 
winter in those regions," and he may have taken for 
granted that all was thereby included, and that there was 
no need to say more on the subject to his learned friend. 
Probably the account of this voyage of discovery will 
never be quite clear, unless indeed further details were 
found in the Portuguese archives. However much it 
may be doubted whether the Portuguese squadron 
actually discovered South Georgia, the possibility still 
remains that even at so early a date the first real dis- 
covery of Antarctic country did take place. It certainly 
had neither direct nor indirect consequences, for it fell 
entirely into the background in view 01 the unexpected 
extent and extension of the Ilha da Vera Cruz, in other 
words, of the Brazils. For it was this very country that 
was described by Vespucci, in his accounts, as a u New 
World," while the discoveries of Columbus w T ere still 
regarded as portions of the far east coast of the Old 
World, or its outlying islands. These accounts therefore 
secured to Vespucci the unmerited fame of being the 


discoverer of the New World, and gave first to Brazil 
and subsequently to the whole continent the name of 
Terra Americi or America. Still it is by no means 
certain that the southern and insignificant discovery made 
by the Portuguese vessels did not secretly revive and 
perpe'uate the myth of the great southern continent 
bounding the oceans and covering in the South Pole. 


Very soon after the exploration of the Brazilian 
coasts, several expeditions were made there, although 
the country had not the attraction of either gold or 
spices to offer. And these voyages seem to have been 
undertaken without the authority and probably without 
even the knowledge of the Portuguese Government. 
They are mentioned here simply because they revived 
the idea of the Ptolemaic Austral country, though now 
no longer supposed to be connected with either Asia 
or Africa, and projected farther across still unknown 
seas. At length a French vessel from Honfleur in Nor- 
mandy, under the command of the Sieur Binot Paulmier 
de Gonneville, reached Brazil in 1504, though it cannot 
be ascertained at what point he landed. Gonneville, who 
brought back a young native on his return voyage, speaks 
in his account of the discovery of hitherto unknown 
"southern lands," and thus in the course of time these 
were sought to the south of the Cape of Good Hope 
instead of in Brazil. Somewhat later, about the years 
1508-9, a widespread publication, obviously a trans- 
lation from the Portuguese, appeared in Italy and Ger- 
many, called Copia der Newen Zeytung aus Pressilgland. 
This gave an account of the voyage of two Portuguese 
ships to the Brazilian coast. They were stated to have 
reached a latitude of 40 S., and to have found straits on 



the west. The importance of this account as a prelude 
to the discovery of the Straits of Magellan 1 cannot here 
be dwelt upon. It was, however, important as the 
starting-point for a representation of the Terra australis 
incognita, according to the imagination of the Nuremberg 

Terra australis (after Schoner's globe of 1533). 

geographer and astronomer, Johannes Schoner. In 15 15 
he constructed a globe on which the South American 
continent, or according to his own designation, America, 
really comes to an end in latitude 40° to 41 S. Thence 

1 More accurately " Magalhaes". 


the coast diverges to the west and subsequently runs north. 
Separated from this southern extremity by a narrow 
strait lies a country designated as Brasilie regio, stretch- 
ing far to the east and to the west, the coasts retiring in 
higher southern latitudes. The outlines of this purely 
hypothetical country were fantastic enough, and must 
have seemed still more so after Magellan's remarkable 
voyage had verified the existence of a passage to the 
west, though it was found to be io° farther south than 
was indicated by the Newen Zeytung. Tierra del Fuego, 
on the south of the Straits of Magellan, was evidently 
part of the Terra australis, and its coasts were therefore 
prolonged by Schoner without any hesitation, so that 
they encircled the globe on the south. His learned 
successors improved on his drawings by adding greater 
variety to the coast line of the imaginary country. In 
many representations of the South Atlantic Ocean, a pen- 
insula of the great Austral continent is indicated to the 
south-east of the Brazilian continent, between 50 and 
6o° S., with a coast running from west to east. This may 
be a mere coincidence, but it does not exclude the possi- 
bility of Vespucci's discovery on his third voyage having 
provided data for part of the coast of the otherwise 
imaginary country. 

From this time forward the names of places in or 
near America were removed to a greater distance. On 
Schoner's Globe, for example, of the year 1533, the 
name Brasilie regio already embellishes the great 
southern country to the south of Madagascar. A 
later designer, Oronce Fine, had moreover the audacity 
to give the country the inscription : Terra australis 
nuper inventa sed non plene examinata (the lately dis- 
covered, but not completely explored southern land). 
A German geographer, one of the most celebrated of all, 
Gerhard Mercator, in the beginning of the second half of 

the sixteenth century drew the coasts of this immense 



continent with great precision, adding deep indentations as 
gulfs as well as outlying islands and ranges of cliffs. Here, 
too, is to be found what may again be merely a coinci- 
dence, a projecting coast in almost exactly the latitude 
and longitude of South Georgia, bounded by a deeply 
indented bay on the west, the Golfo de San Sebastiano. 

The method of representing Tierra del Fuego as 
a peninsula of the southern continent is all the more 
surprising since from an early date it had been conjec- 
tured that it was an island. Four years after the return 
of the only ship saved from the fleet of the first great 
circumnavigator, Magellan, the second Spanish expedition, 
under the command of Garcia Jofre de Loayasa, passed 
through the Straits of Magellan into the Pacific Ocean 
in 1526. On entering the straits one of the vessels, the 
San Les?nes, commanded by Francisco de Hoces, was 
separated and driven south in a storm. It thus reached 
the Le Maire Straits, re-discovered ninety years later, 
separating Tierra del Fuego from Staten Island. 1 Al- 
though the explorers concluded that they had reached 
the extremity of the continent, they nevertheless made 
their way back without following up their discovery. 
Thus, this important discovery was for the time disre- 
garded, and rendered no service either to navigation 
or to cartography. 

A similar fate or worse befell Francis Drake, the 
first discoverer of Cape Horn," and therefore of the 
southern extremity of the great western double continent. 
Instead of erasing from the map the southern continent 
presumably extending to the Straits of Magellan, the 
distorted account of Drake's voyage tended to confirm 
the error. There is a good account of Drake's voyage 
extant from the pen of his ship's chaplain, Fletcher. 
From the first simple statements made by him it is 

1 More accurately Staaten Island. 
More accurately Cape Hoorn. 


evident that Drake was not the first, as has been er- 
roneously supposed, to cross the Antarctic circle. Drake 
left Plymouth with a fleet of five ships in 1577. In the 
following year he was from the 20th of August to the 
6th of September in the Straits of Magellan. After 
sailing through and continuing a considerable distance 
to the north-west, his own ship was driven back by a 
violent storm to the W.S.W. until he found himself in 
latitude 57° S., and about 200 leagues from the opening 
to the straits. He again sailed to the east and came 
upon the islands belonging to the Tierra del Fuego 
region in latitude 55° S., where he rested for a few days. 
Compelled by a renewal of the storm he took refuge 
among the islands. Fletcher relates in The World 
Encompassed : "He came finally to the uttermost part of 
the land towards the South Pole, the extreme cape or 
cliff lying nearly under 56° S., beyond which neither 
continent nor island was to be seen ; indeed the Atlantic 
and the Pacific Oceans here unite in the free and uncon- 
fined open ". Fletcher tells of the intercourse with the 
natives of the island, dwellers in barks, describing the 
typical Tierra del Fuegan. In short, his description 
gives so clear and unmistakable a picture of the southern 
extremity of South America, that it seems an absolute 
marvel that Drake's discovery should have been entirely 
misunderstood for centuries. And what indeed was not 
made of it ! A year before the account of his travels 
was published in the original English edition with the 
title The Famous Voyage of Sir Francis Drake (1599), 
a translation, or rather an adaptation of it, appeared in 
the compilation of Theodore de Bry. This writer 
turns the above-mentioned 200 leagues of longitude in 
the distance from the opening into the straits into 
200 leagues of latitude in a southerly direction ; the 
word "leagues" also was supposed by the translator 
to mean miles, which he identified with German or 


geographical miles. On this calculation there was 
therefore a difference of 13^° in the latitude, so that De 
Bry actually conveyed Drake to the Antarctic circle. 
To make the high latitude vivid to his readers, he inter- 
polates a statement which is entirely a fabrication, and 
says that Drake observed that the night was of only two 
hours' duration, so that at the time of the December 
solstice the sun would remain above the horizon the 
whole twenty-four hours. This inference is manifestly 
based on the mistaken calculation of the latitude. Later 
translations and adaptations of De Bry's work only made 
matters worse, since they represented Drake as getting 
the information as to the length of the day from the 
natives, so that inhabitants were introduced into the 
countries in those high latitudes. 

Such suggestions found a ready welcome among 
theorising cartographers, and the land discovered by 
Drake was forthwith removed to latitude 66° to 67 S. as 
part of the coast of the great southern continent, regard- 
less of the objections raised by experienced mariners like 
Hawkins, or critical geographers like Oliver. Hawkins 
had been told by Drake that the passage round the 
southern extremity of the land was shorter than through 
the Straits of Magellan, and this was verified in 1580 by 
a Spanish vessel belonging to Sarmiento's squadron. 
Strangely enough, Mercator in his map of the world 
had in 1569 entered a deep bay in the latitude given 
above, placing it on the coast of his imaginary continent, 
to which he apparently gave increased precision by the 
addition of outlying cliffs and islands. 

Scarcely twenty years later the champions of the 
connection between Tierra del Fuego and the southern 
continent seemed justified in their contention that Drake 
had discovered land in a high southern latitude. A vessel 
that had come through the Straits of Magellan was in the 
same way driven south and found land. In the year 




1599, at a time when the Dutch, acting on the offensive, 
began to attack and injure Spain in her colonies, a Dutch 
squadron of five sail, under the command of Jacob Mahn 
and Simon de Cordes, left Holland to attack the Spanish 
possessions on the Pacific. They were overtaken by the 
same fate as Drake, for on passing out of the Straits of 
Magellan on the west side they were dispersed by a 
violent storm on the 15th of September. One of the 
vessels, the yacht De Blyde Boodschap, under the 
command of Dirk (Theodoric) Gerritz, was driven as 
far as 64° S., where Gerritz sighted land. It was covered 
with lofty, snow-clad mountains which he compared to 
those of Norway. Without following up his discovery 
Gerritz again took a northern course to the coast of 
Chili, but missed the rendezvous of the squadron and 
was made captive by the Spaniards. In a letter to 
Olivier van Noort, the commander of a second Dutch 
squadron, he communicated his discovery, concerning 
which nothing more was heard. It has elsewhere been 
shown that although many circumstances seem to tell 
against the attaining of such a high latitude, there is no 
reason whatever to doubt Gerritz' veracity. It might 
be opposed on the ground that at the beginning of 
summer in the southern hemisphere the land is blocked 
by ice in latitude 64° to the south of Tierra del Fuego, 
that is to say, the western isles of the South Shetland 
Archipelago or Palmer Land. But as Gerritz came in 
sight of land in the second, third, or even the fourth 
quarter of September, for he reckoned by the old Julian 
calendar, the date of his discovery would doubtless be 
between the beginning and the middle of October. Now 
W. Smith, the second discoverer of the Gerritz Archi- 
pelago — as it has now been called — found it possible to 
approach the South Shetland Islands at that time of 
year, in 18 19, without being at all inconvenienced by the 
ice. The advance in both cases seems to have been 


greatly assisted by favourable ice years. The land dis- 
covered by Gerritz was long inscribed as such on the 
maps, and was also transferred to the great southern 
continent until after Cook's voyages, when it as errone- 
ously dropped from the maps altogether. 

The subsequent use to which the Dutch account was 
put is seen in a later rendering of Gerritz' report. There 
the absurd statement is added that the land sighted 
seemed to stretch away to the Solomon Isles, which had 
been discovered to the south-east of New Guinea by 
Mendana in 1567, and were then lost to the world till 
1768. It is impossible to decide when this interpolation 
first found its way into the account of Gerritz. It 
seems almost as if Mercator's map of the world of the 
year 1569 were responsible for it. The repeatedly 
mentioned coast of his southern land is here drawn as 
running from the western outlet of the Straits of Magellan 
to about latitude 66° S.and longitude 92 W. (he reckons 
from the meridian of the island of Corvo), and from here to 
latitude 19° S. and longitude 170° W. in almost a straight 
line, to a hypothetical region corresponding to Torres 
Straits between New Guinea and Australia (of course 
before the discovery of the straits by Torres). It is 
remarkable that Mercator, while indicating by a dotted 
line that the outline is hypothetical, gives a continuous 
line between 45° and 35 S., apparently fixing a coast 
that had been sighted. This might lead one to think 
of the first discovery of New Zealand, which perhaps 
fell to the lot of the Spaniard, Juan Fernandez (after 
1563), who certainly discovered the island now bearing 
his name, the original of Robinson Crusoe's island. The 
news of a large inhabited country in southern waters would 
naturally tend to confirm the fixed tradition of a southern 

Two Dutchmen, Schouten and Le Maire, achieved 
what Drake, though he had rounded the cape subse- 


quently named Cape Hoorn, had failed to do thirty-eight 
years before, viz., the separation on the maps and in 
contemporary geography books of Tierra del Fuego 
from the great southern continent. It was not a pure 
zeal for discovery that prompted these two to find a 
passage south of the Straits of Magellan. They were 
intent on evading the monopoly of the Dutch East India 
Company, which gave the sole right of passage through 
the Straits of Magellan to Dutch merchantmen. On 
the 25th of January, 161 6, they sailed through the 
straits named after Le Maire, the east coast of which 
was called Staaten Island, in honour of the States- 
General of Holland. The south coast of Tierra del 
Fuego was examined, together with the small outlying 
islands, which received names. The southern extremity 
was called Cape Hoorn in honour of Schouten's native 

Nevertheless, even this voyage was powerless to 
entirely remove the southern continent of the maps from 
the waters in the region of Tierra del Fuego. When the 
greatest navigator of the seventeenth century, Abel 
Tasman, on his memorable voyage in search of the 
southern continent took an uninterrupted easterly course 
in latitude 45° to 49° S. after leaving the island of Mauritius, 
he unexpectedly came upon a mountainous country, on the 
13th of December, 1642. This was the southern island 
of New Zealand (he had discovered the south coast of 
Van Diemen's Land, now called Tasmania, a few weeks 
before), to which the name Staaten Land was applied, on 
the assumption that it was connected on the east with 
the Straits of Le Maire. It was a mere chance that a 
few months later, in March, 1643, a Dutchman of the 
name of Brouwer found how small the extent of the 
South American Staaten Island actually was, and thus 
at last freed South America from all close connection 
with the mythical Terra australis. 


But though it had thus vanished from the south- 
western Atlantic, from the Indian, and the western Pacific, 
or at least had been proved non-existent as far south 
as the fiftieth degree of latitude, the imagination of geo- 
graphers still clung to the higher southern latitudes and to 
the possibilities of the vast region of the south-eastern 
Pacific, south of New Zealand, which was itself regarded 
as a portion of the great southern continent. Tasman's 
circumnavigation of New Holland (as Australia was first 
called), though at a great distance from land, had proved 
that this also was certainly not joined to the Terra australis 
of the maps and globes. I n one respect important practical 
and theoretical results followed from the clear apprehension 
that South America was free, so to speak, at its southern 
extremity. This was the increase and spread of geo- 
graphical knowledge in connection with the waters to 
the east and west of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. 
Up to this time vessels outward bound to the Pacific had 
been compelled to encounter the Falkland current sweep- 
ing north as they neared the Patagonian coast. When 
at last the dangerous passage through the Straits of 
Magellan lay before them, half the ships, as we are told 
by Peschel, turned back, and now there was the possi- 
bility of sailing round at a greater distance from the 
rocky shore of South America. Jacob l'Hermite as 
early as 1624, when commander of the so-called Nassau 
fleet, made the correct observation that on the voyage 
out from Europe the difficulty of rounding Cape Hoorn 
could be considerably diminished by going into a higher 
southern latitude. Farther south, east and south-east 
winds prevail, while in the neighbourhood of the Cape, 
west and north-west winds blow constantly and with great 
violence. L'Hermite himself had reached a latitude of 
6i° S., and could therefore speak from experience. 

The immediate consequence of the greater facility in 
reaching the South Sea — as the Pacific was still almost 





exclusively called — was the great increase in the number 
of voyages made in it. The Dutch, English and French 
more especially showed increased activity and enterprise, 
and reached remarkably high latitudes. Not only did 
vessels press forward to the south, but also to the east, 
and one of these voyages brought about the discovery of 
South Georgia — or its re-discovery, if the Portuguese had 
really sighted the island on Vespucci's third voyage. In 
April, 1675, it happened that a mercantile expedition 
under Antonio de la Roche, consisting of two vessels 
from Hamburg, though not sailing under the Hamburg 
flag, was driven past the entrance to the Le Maire 
Straits, while homeward bound, by a violent storm and 
resistless current from the west. After several days' 
course towards the east an unknown snow-covered land 
arose before the eyes of the astonished travellers, and 
finding safe moorings they lay at anchor in a bay there. 
The storm kept them here for a fortnight ; then the 
weather cleared, and another snow-clad country revealed 
itself to the south-east, separated from their anchorage 
by short straits about thirty nautical miles across. 
Through this the vessels sailed without paying any 
further attention to their discovery. The latitude is 
given at 55° S., while nothing can be made of the longi- 
tude. It was apparently merely a conjecture calculated 
with reference to Cape Hoorn, and La Roche's ships' 
reckoning had become confused owing to storm and 
the course of the current. For this reason it has been 
considered doubtful what the country discovered really 
was. The Falkland Isles and Beauchene Island have 
been suggested, but surely incorrectly. The one corres- 
ponds neither as regards the latitude nor the covering of 
snow — indeed icebergs are mentioned in the account — 
while the other is merely an isolated rock thirty-seven 
miles to the south of East Falkland. Per contra La 
Roche's description applies fairly well to the western end 


of South Georgia and Willis Island lying outside. The 
only discrepancy is the breadth of the strait between the 
two — a matter of only six or seven nautical miles. The 
northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands might occur 
to one, although the description applies far better to 
South Georgia. The error in the latitude would be 
equally great in either case, as the north-western end of 
South Georgia and Willis Island are situated in latitude 
54 S., and the most northern of the South Sandwich 
Isles in latitude 56J S. 

For sixty-two years this remained the latest discovery 
in Antarctic regions, while latitude 6o° S. was now 
more frequently crossed, and the first accounts occur of 
meeting with floating ice in southern waters. It seems 
strange that there are no earlier references to it, for the 
region of floating ice was entered in rounding Cape 
Hoorn. It is an equally strange fact that icebergs do 
not seem to have been mentioned by earlier travellers, 
not even by Abel Tasman. Many noteworthy voyages 
were made by daring pirates, who, under the name of 
buccaneers and filibusters, attacked the Spanish-American 
possessions, both on the Atlantic and South Sea coasts. 
Thus Bartholomew Sharp in 1681 reached 6o° S. after 
previously encountering icebergs, likewise the dlite of 
buccaneer society — at least those of English origin — 
when John Cook led William Dampier, Edward Davis, 
Lionel W T afer, Ambrose Cowley and others with the ship 
Revenge, west of Cape Hoorn, as far as 6o° 31' S. on 
the way to the Pacific provinces of south Spain. Part 
of the company returned under Edward Davis after it 
was broken up, and after he had discovered Easter Island 
he reached a latitude of 62° 45 S. in the Atlantic, on 
which occasion a large number of icebergs was observed. 
Easter Island naturally offered the cartographers a wel- 
come opportunity for again laying down a portion of 
the great southern continent, and it figured on the maps, 


with considerable extensions, as Davis Land. This error 
continued even after the Dutch discoverer, Jacob Rogge- 
ween, in 1722, had verified that it was quite a small island, 
as can be proved from Homann's charts of the middle 
of the eighteenth century. 

Latitudes similar to those of Davis were reached in 
1700 by Woodes Roggers, viz., 6i° 53' S., and Le Gentil 
de la Barbinais in 17 16, as well as George Shelvoke in 
1 7 19, both of whom reached 6i° 3c/ S. Roggeween, as 
before mentioned, attained a latitude of 62° 30' S. 
in 1722, and, it is even stated that one of his vessels, 
the Thienkoven, penetrated to 64° 58' S. If correct, 
this is the highest before Cook, since Dirk Gerritz 
gives only 64° as his southernmost point. But it is 
possible that an error has crept in with respect to the 
southernmost point reached by the Thienhoven. 

The year 1738 is memorable in the annals of Ant- 
arctic voyages of discovery, as it in a certain sense gave 
the impulse to the second great voyage of James Cook, 
and laid to rest once for all the belief in a southern 
continent lying within the temperate zone. It was a 
peculiar circumstance that the French Compagnie des 
Indes should have sent out an expedition to the in- 
habitants of the southern lands, and although it reached 
only comparatively low latitudes, it has a distinct claim 
to be regarded as the first real South Polar Expedition. 
It will be remembered that soon after the Portuguese 
discovery of Brazil, French vessels made their way 
there, and that the voyage of De Gonneville was re- 
corded. On the return of this expedition, a young 
native, son of a chief, had been brought to France 
under promise to be brought back again. In con- 
sequence of adverse circumstances the young Indian 
never was sent back, but learnt French, was converted 
to the Christian faith, and married a lady of noble 
family. After nearly two hundred years, it occurred to 


one of his descendants to raise a claim to the territory of 
his ancestor in the southern lands from whence he came, 
and in this way fresh interest was roused in the nearly 
forgotten voyage of De Gonneville. It was not known 
that that southern territory was merely a part of Brazil ; 
on the contrary, it was sought in the unexplored waters 
of the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In the firm 
conviction that fertile and populous countries would here 
be discovered, the company fifty years later determined 
to send out an exploring expedition consisting of two 

These were placed under the command of Lozier 
Bouvet who led the ship L'Aigle, while the Marie was 
commanded by Captain Hay. They left the harbour of 
L'Orient on 17th July, 1738, sought out St. Catharina 
in Brazil, and then steered to the south-east like the 
Portuguese squadron on the occasion of Vespucci's third 
voyage. As Bouvet on meridian 1 7° 40' W. approached 
latitude 44° S. he was very eager to find the land indi- 
cated on the maps as Terre de vue or Cape des terres 
australes ; but nothing presented itself. Later, he came 
to the conclusion that it must be either a small island 
which had remained concealed from him by mists, and 
which had been regarded as extended land by older 
navigators, or — what was doubtless correct — icebergs. 
With these he became better acquainted on the 15th of 
December in the latitude corresponding to that of Paris 
in the northern hemisphere, viz., 49° S., in the shape of 
three great ice-islands, of which the largest, according to 
his reckoning, had a circumference of upwards of seven 
to ten miles, and a height of upwards of 1 200 feet, 
estimates which betray his inexperience in ice-navigation. 
The immense extent of these gigantic masses of ice at 
first misled Bouvet joyfully to anticipate the neighbour- 
hood of land. The dogma of the glorious lands of the 
southern seas was so firmly rooted in the imagination of 


that time that Bouvet was of opinion that the height of 
the icebergs, the origin of which so long remained 
enigmatical, was a proof of the altitude of the country " in 
which they came into existence, and highlands are always 
considered the healthiest ". 

On penetrating farther towards the south, the ships 
were however so closely hemmed in by pack-ice and 
floating ice that they were obliged to seek an outlet to 
the east. After sailing in this direction and to the south- 
east for several days, an apparently high and snow- 
covered land was seen by both ships to the north-east 
on ist January, 1739. According to Bouvet's reckoning 
they were then in latitude 54° 20' S. and longitude 4° 
E., and the land seemed to be in about latitude 54 S. 
and longitude 4 20' E. Following the devout custom 
of naming new discoveries according to the church 
calendar, it was called Cape de la Circoncision. The 
extent of land was certainly small, and the coast inac- 
cessible on account of the pack-ice by which it was 
blockaded. Even after a delay of twelve days, the ships 
were unable to approach it near enough to effect a 
landing. On one clear day it was seen that the country 
was much more level to the south-east, and that in parts 
free from snow it was covered with forest or underwood. 
This delusive appearance — as in the Falkland Isles — 
is caused by the tussock grass, Poa flabellata, which 
gives an impression in the distance of being shrubs and 
bushes. In spite of the country appearing well-wooded, 
Bouvet did not consider it suitable for settlers, and it 
did not occur to him that it was only a small island. On 
the contrary, he was convinced that he had discovered 
a promontory of the great southern land, and retained 
the hope of finding Gonneville's coast farther away to 
the east. Therefore he sailed 1500 miles to the east, in 
a latitude of 57 S. approximately, constantly surrounded 
by ice, and without finding anything, and then took an 


equally fruitless course north in order to escape into open 
water. Now, however disappointing this voyage proved 
in general, and however futile in regard of its principal 
object, it must be conceded to brave Captain Bouvet 
that he was the first to sail a considerable distance east — 
8°-io° — south of the course of the great navigator, Tas- 
man, and therefore he has a claim to be regarded as the 
pioneer of Antarctic exploration. 

Bouvet's discovery was fated to bring important results 
in its train as far as both the French and the English 
were concerned, in spite of the repelling aspect of the 
newly discovered country and of the seas surrounding it. 
These results, however, waited silently in the background 
for thirty years, and in the middle of that period (1756) the 
island of South Georgia was discovered for the second or 
the third time, in the middle of winter, on the 29th of June. 
This time the discovery was made by a Spanish merchant 
vessel, the Leon, which sailed completely round the island 
in the south, and named it after the saint's day, " Isla de 
San Pedro". 

The discovery, however, was not immediately followed 
up, although it became known through the French ac- 
count published by Ducloz Guyot, who was on board the 
Leon at the time. This account was incorporated in the 
writings and compilations of the eminent English tra- 
veller and geographer, Alexander Dalrymple, in a work 
published in 1770 on the subject of oceanic travels and 
discoveries. As it came out before Cook's return from 
his first famous voyage, he was probably acquainted 
with this last discovery of South Georgia. 

After a brief lull in the progress of Antarctic dis- 
covery, a new period of activity set in during the seventies 
of last century. The times had greatly changed, natural 
science especially had received a new impetus, and a 
desire had become manifest to deepen as well as to 
widen our then knowledge of the earth as a whole. A 


perfectly new departure was for the first time made in 
equipping and sending out expeditions, not as on 
previous occasions by states and trading companies with 
the object of material commercial profit, but great under- 
takings for the furtherance of science, accompanied 
by a staff of learned men. The tasks now set were to 
determine the distribution of land and water in the less- 
known regions of the globe, to investigate all new natural 
phenomena, and especially to widen the knowledge of 
the sciences of modern times, namely biology, ethno- 
graphy and sociology. Something like a division of 
labour was made between the English and French, 
whose Governments alone sent out numerous expeditions ; 
the English devoting their attention principally to the 
surface of our earth and to new geographical discovery, 
the French to the scientific investigation of new pheno- 
mena. Meantime the French never relinquished the 
thought of discovering the great southern continent, so 
that we meet French vessels seeking Gonneville's country 
in the Pacific and Indian Oceans at the very time that the 
English Government fitted out its first great scientific 
expedition. There were pre-eminently two French under- 
takings by Marion and Kerguelen, otherwise unimportant, 
that set out for southern waters in the year 1 77 1, and 
both had the good fortune to find land there. 

Marion du Frezne, who originally was commissioned 
to take back to his home a young native of Tahiti 
brought to France by Bougainville, was first of all to 
visit Bouvet's Cape Circoncision and then New Zealand. 
He left Cape Town on the 20th of December, 1 771, and 
steered his course south. But he was unsuccessful in 
finding either the apocryphal islands of Dina and Mars- 
ween, or Cape Circoncision. As compensation he 
discovered a new island on the 13th of January, 772, 
which seemed to him also to be a portion of the great 
Austral country. From this circumstance he named it 


Terre d'Esperance. Ten days later he came upon an 
island group in the same latitude, 46|-° S., of which the 
one on which he landed was named Isle de la Prise de 
Possession. The islands were certainly covered with 
snow at midsummer, and a great iceberg was seen : never- 
theless Crozet, the commander of Marion's consort, 
concluded that it must be near a graminiferous country 
from his seeing a pigeon on the wing ! Marion spent no 
time in exploring the islands or the country conjectured 
to be beyond, but shaped his course for Tasmania (then 
Van Diemen's Land) and New Zealand. Here he was 
killed by a native in revenge for the ineptitude of 
Surville, who had visited the coast almost at the same 
time as Cook three years before. The command of both 
ships was not taken over by Crozet as is frequently 
asserted, but by Duclesmeur, who brought them home. 

As has already been stated, a second exploring ex- 
pedition left France in 1 77 1 , under the command of Yves 
Joseph de Kerguelen-Tremarec. He was under orders 
to start from the Isle de France (now again Mauritius), 
and to steer towards the southern continent in latitude 
45 S., and about the meridian of the islands of St. Paul 
and Amsterdam, to find a suitable harbour, and thor- 
oughly to study the products of the country, its inhabi- 
tants, and their social condition. A member of the Paris 
Academy, the astronomer Rochon, was appointed to 
assist in setting down the topographical details. On the 
16th of January, 1772, therefore, Kerguelen left the Isle 
de France, and a month later, on the 13th of February, 
he discovered, in latitude 50 S., land that, according 
to his conjecture, certainly formed a part of the great 
southern continent. A closer examination was not 
undertaken, as the weather was bad and the country 
entirely uninhabited. Kerguelen's opinion about the 
connection with the southern continent was shared by 
Paris generally, and the discovery was held to be of such 



great importance that a new expedition was determined 
on, with more detailed official orders to explore the 
continent. Kerguelen, in command of three vessels, 
in 1773 sought the land discovered a year previously, 
without, however, even ascertaining the extent of 
Kerguelen Island, as it is now called. Cook had sailed 
round on the south without ever coming in sight of land 
in February of the same year ; indeed he missed also the 

Captain James Cook. 

Marion and Crozet Isles, of whose discovery he had 
heard in Cape Town. 

James Cook was no novice in these waters. He 
was chosen commander of an expedition for the observa- 
tion of a transit of Venus on the 3rd of July, 1769, after 
having greatly distinguished himself by his hydrographic 
charts of the St. Lawrence in Canada, and the coasts of 


Newfoundland. Cook left England with the Endeavour 
in the summer of 1768, having three eminent scientists 
on board. Passing through the Straits of Le Maire, 
and round Cape Horn, he at once made for Tahiti in 
order to fulfil his first and principal task. Having ac- 
complished this, he undertook a voyage of discovery 
to the practically unknown waters south of latitude 15 
S., and east of New Zealand. He first discovered 
several island groups, and attained to a latitude of 40° 
22' S. on the meridian 174° 29' E. without a trace of land 
far and wide. Then he shaped his course for New 
Zealand, which he completely circumnavigated, and 
verified not only as an island that was disconnected 
with a continent, but as really consisting of two islands. 
After laying all this down with the greatest accuracy, 
he turned to New Holland, laying down the east coast 
and Torres Straits (the first discovery by Torres had 
remained entirely unknown). Thus he gave the true 
outlines of the island continent which subsequently 
received the name of Austral Land, or Australia. 

The remarkable results of Cook's first circumnaviga- 
tion of the world determined the English Government to 
send him out in charge of a second expedition, larger and 
still more completely equipped. His task was to be the 
solution of the problem concerning the extent of the south- 
ern continent so emphatically insisted upon by the French 
navigators ;. indeed, Cook's achievement in sailing round 
New Zealand had already gone far towards disproving 
the extent attributed to it. He was this time placed in 
command of two vessels, the Adventure under Four- 
neaux' command and the Resolution under his own. The 
astronomers Wales and Bayley accompanied them, as 
well as the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster 
and his son George. At Cape Town the party was in- 
creased by the Swede Sparrmann. Cook made for Cape 
Town in the first instance, because he had determined on 


this voyage to carry out the plan of sailing in the high 
latitudes from west to east. The only navigator who 
can be in a sense regarded as his predecessor was Abel 
Tasman in the voyage which led to the discovery of 
New Zealand. Cape Town, with its resources, seemed 
to Cook the most favourably situated for completing the 
preparations for the long voyage through unknown seas, 
and here he heard the news of the latest discoveries made 
by the French (Marion and Crozet). On the 22nd of 
November, 1772, the ships left the Cape and took a 
course almost due south. Scarcely three weeks later, on 
the 10th of December, in latitude 50° 40' S. and longi- 
tude 20 E., the first ice came in sight, an iceberg with 
the tabular form characteristic of the south polar waters, 
and with vertical sides. The farther they penetrated 
south the more numerous were the icebergs and the 
more difficult the navigation, owing to the prevalence 
of stormy weather and of sudden fog and mists. As 
early as the 14th of December the vessels were checked in 
their progress in latitude 54° 50' S. and longitude 21° 
24' E., by a vast mass of drift-ice which compelled them 
to steer to the S.E. After several futile attempts they 
succeeded in going round the mass of pack-ice and drift- 
ice, and having reached a latitude 58° S., Cook steered to 
the west, constantly surrounded by field-ice and numerous 
icebergs, though the ice was not so thick as to prevent 
their forcing their way along. By degrees the field-ice 
disappeared, and Cook rightly conjectured that the great 
ice masses which had turned him from his course had 
drifted to the north, and that therefore there was no land 
of any extent between his present position — latitude 6o° 
S. in round numbers — and the Cape. After he had 
reached longitude g° 45' E. on the 2nd of January, 1773, 
he again shaped his course towards the south-east, and 
soon came in sight of fresh icebergs. 

On the 17th of January the south polar circle was 


crossed in longitude 38 14' E., the first time this had 
ever been accomplished. During this memorable time 
only one iceberg was in sight, but after a few hours of 
their farther progress south the ice increased to such 
an extent that it became impossible to continue their 
course : the whole surface of the waters as far as the 
eye could reach was covered from east to west by dense 
masses of ice, enclosing great icebergs. *To the south- 
east of the ships rose a mass of ice that Cook estimated 
at sixteen or eighteen feet high, at least, perfectly flat, 
equally high everywhere, and of such extent that the 
end could not be seen from the top of the mast. This 
gigantic mass of ice, seen in latitude 6j° 17' S. and 
longitude 39° 35' E., is particularly interesting, since it 
may have been a first sight of one of the great ice barriers 
from which glaciers and inland ice in the Antarctic regions 
break off in all directions into the sea. It is evident that 
Cook did not understand the meaning of this enormous 
mass of ice, though he seems to have conjectured that 
it was of considerable importance. He determined to 
give up the attempt to penetrate farther south for the 
time, as the summer was already half over, and it would 
have taken too much time to sail round the ice, "provided 
always that this course had been possible, which is very 
doubtful ". He therefore again turned his course to the 
north-east, with the object of seeking the land discovered 
by Kerguelen, but in vain ; for he explored in latitude 
50 S., in longitude 58° to 65° E., but without seeing 
land at all. This is not to be wondered at, as the Island 
of Kerguelen is certainly not situated in latitude 49° S., 
but farther east, in longitude 69° to 71° E. Cook was, 
moreover, harassed by fog and stormy weather, during 
which the vessels were separated from each other on 
the 8th of March. 

In order to turn to advantage the remainder of the 
southern summer season, Cook alone made another 


attempt towards the south-east, but only to find himself 
again in the region of drifting icebergs on the 16th of 
February, in latitude 57° 8' S. and longitude 8o° 59' E. 
As early as the 24th he had reached latitude 6i° 52' S. 
and longitude 95° E., sailing among innumerable ice- 
bergs, when the masses of ice made it unadvisable to 
continue his course. He therefore turned to the east and 
sailed continuously about latitude 6o° S. as far as longitude 
148° E., whence he made for New Zealand on the 17th of 
March, which he reached on the 25th, hoping to complete 
his previous explorations. After meeting the Advenhire 
there — she had arrived on the 1st of March without 
sighting either land or, with a single exception, icebergs 
— Cook took both vessels to the Society and Friendly 
Isles to give the crews a rest, returning to New Zealand 
towards the end of October. 

New Zealand was left on the 26th of November, and 
the vessels started afresh on a voyage south. Since the 
non-existence of a continent to the south of the Indian 
Ocean had been proved, the regions of the southern 
Pacific were to be explored in the southern summer of 
1773-4. Unfortunately, Cook did not resume his search 
at the point where he had ceased the year before : he did 
not press forward south from the southern extremity of 
Tasmania. Had he done so in favourable circumstances, 
he would doubtless have lighted on the coast of Wilkes 
Land. However, he crossed latitude 6o° S. on the nth 
of December on the meridian 174 W., therefore 38 
of longitude distant from the meridian on which he 
quitted his position in latitude 59° S. the previous March. 

It is remarkable that he did not encounter an ice- 
berg till he reached latitude 62 4' S. and longitude 
172 W., n|° farther south than after his first start from 
the Cape of Good Hope. But the number of icebergs 
rapidly increased, and gradually the drift-ice again ap- 
peared, though not as yet so dense as greatly to impede 


progress. However, on the 15th of December, in lati- 
tude 65 52' S. and longitude 159° 20' W., the pack-ice 
grew so impenetrable and the fog so dense that it be- 
came necessary to retire somewhat to the north. It was 
not till the 20th of December that the Antarctic circle 
was crossed for the second time on the meridian 147° 
30 W. The southernmost point attained in these 
regions was latitude 67° 31' S. and longitude 142 54' 
W., where thick pack-ice and numerous icebergs again 
obstructed the vessels. On the 23rd of December, in 
latitude 6j° 20' S. and longitude 137 12' W., it was no 
longer possible to break through the ice, and as the 
health of the officers and crews had suffered in conse- 
quence of their unceasing exertions in navigating the 
vessels, Cook found himself compelled to return north 
for a time. This he did with reluctance and regret, for 
having seen several brown albatrosses in this region of 
the heavy pack-ice he concluded that land could not be 
far distant. 

Cook's retreat north continued to latitude 48 S., 
where, on the 1 ith of January, 1744, in latitude 47° 51' S. 
and longitude 122 12' W., he resolved to venture upon 
another attempt to reach higher latitudes. This time he 
followed a course nearly due south, and encountered 
icebergs on the 20th of January in latitude 62 34' S. and 
longitude 11 6° 24' W., which, however, grew less numer- 
ous during the few subsequent days, or disappeared 
altogether. On the 26th of January the Antarctic circle 
was again crossed on meridian 109/ 31' W., with but few 
icebergs visible, and apparently land in sight. On closer 
observation this was found to be a bank of dense fog, 
which at a distance had all the appearance of a moun- 
tainous country. By degrees the icebergs increased in 
number on their southern course, and in latitude 69 38' 
S. and longitude 108° 12' W., field-ice again appeared, 
on which sea-tang covered with mussels was observed. 


and an albatross feeding on them heartily. The icebergs 
now increased to gigantic size, their outlines clearly de- 
fined, and not worn by waves or weather, the sides 
vertical, the upper surface fiat and covered with snow ; 
one of them had an extent of three or four nautical 
miles. On the 30th of January a remarkably bright ice- 
blink was seen (this is the name given to the reflection 
of extensive tracts of ice against the misty sky), and 
the Resolution very soon reached the edge of the pack- 
ice. (The Adventure had separated from her consort as 
early as the 29th of October, 1773, and was not met 
again during the whole voyage.) The dazzling white 
mass of ice stretched away interminably towards the 
south, and presented a striking appearance. Immedi- 
ately to the south of the ship there was a belt of pack-ice 
a nautical mile in breadth, i.e., masses of ice towering 
above one another, between which numerous icebergs 
were wedged in. Behind this belt of pack-ice rose a per- 
fectly compact, unbroken mass of ice, which seemed pretty 
level, and not very high, but rising towards the south, 
where it gradually disappeared on the horizon. In the 
distance Cook clearly distinguished in this mass of ice 
ninety-seven ice-hills, as he here calls them, many of them 
lofty. They exactly resembled mountain chains, one 
summit rising above the other till they were lost in the 
clouds. The place of the ship from which this wonderful 
appearance was observed by Cook was latitude 71° 10' S. 
and longitude 106 54' W., by far the most southern point 
reached either before or for many a decade after. In 
the circumstances it was naturally perfectly impossible 
to attempt any advance. Cook himself held the opinion, 
which seems to have been shared by nearly every one on 
board, that this ice stretched away to the pole, and that 
it had for ages been connected with land in the back- 
ground. He concluded that this was the vast store from 
which proceeded all the icebergs he had met farther north. 


The presence, too, of penguins and other birds led the 
great explorer to conjecture that he was in the neighbour- 
hood of land. In this, we must now admit, he was right, 
for there is scarcely a doubt that the ice-hills, which 
increased towards the south, so that one height always 
seemed to the eye to tower above the other, were nothing 
but ice-clad summits of land, while the level and rising 
mass of flat ice was the northern edge of the ice 
descending from the land into the sea. 

Cook now rapidly retreated north, intending to find 
the land long ago seen by Juan Fernandez — a vain, 
endeavour, since this had probably been New Zealand. 
He wished then to make for the Marquesas group, 
taking Easter Island on the way. The southern winter 
was spent in exploring and discovering, or rediscover- 
ing, numerous Pacific Island groups, such as the New 
Hebrides and New Caledonia. Thence he returned to 
New Zealand, and on the ioth of November started on 
the voyage to Cape Horn, keeping to latitude 50° to 6o° S. 
He thus proved that there was no extensive continent in 
that part of the Pacific. After making surveys of the 
coasts of Tierra del Fuego and Staaten Island, he steered 
south-east to latitude 58° 10' S. and longitude 53 54' 
W., to seek the Golfo San Sebastiano and its coasts, as. 
indicated by Mercator and his successors. His search 
was of course fruitless, as no such land exists. On the 
other hand fortune favoured him in the rediscovery of 
the island of San Pedro, for which he next made, and 
which he really found on the 14th of January, 1775, and 
renamed South Georgia, regardless of the rights of 
previous discoverers. From the 16th to the 23rd of 
January the north coast was explored and laid down with 
all possible accuracy. In this undertaking they were 
greatly assisted by the shelter afforded by several deep 
bays. After exploring to the extreme east end of the 
island, and discovering various small islands and rocks 


as a continuation of the coast line, Cook steered to the 
south-west in order to make search for a possible con- 
tinent in the central region of the South Atlantic. In 
longitude 31° W., he directed his course due south, and 
on the 17th of January sighted an iceberg in latitude 
6o° S. This was soon succeeded by several others and 
by loose field-ice, and as the number of the icebergs 
increased, Cook preferred again retreating to the north- 
east. On the 31st of January land was seen, which 
proved to be a group of lofty rocky and snow-clad 
islands. On penetrating farther north, more islands 

Possession Bay, South Georgia (after Cook). 

appeared, and in the distance a mountainous coast, to 
which Cook gave the name of Southern Thule. A 
nearer approach to the land, or rather to the chain of 
islands — as it was afterwards proved to be by Bellings- 
hausen—was rendered impossible by the dense masses 
of ice by which the islands were surrounded. Cook was 
therefore compelled to rest satisfied with astronomically 
determining the situation of the islands while steering 
north. The whole group, so far as Cook discovered 
them, lying between latitude 57 and 59 S., and under 


longitude 26° to 27 W., received the name of South Sand- 
wich Land. On the 3rd of February the Resolution 
took her course towards the east, for the purpose of 
looking for Bouvet's Cape Circoncision, having icebergs 
constantly in sight while keeping in latitude 58° to 59° S. as 
far as longitude i° E. From this meridian Cook steered 
to the north-east till he reached latitude 55° S. and 
longitude 4/ E., the position he had assigned to the 
Bouvet Isles ; but without result. He now sailed due 
east until he, on the 23rd of February, reached the 
same place where he had been compelled to go east in 
December, 1772, to avoid the field-ice. This time he 
encountered but few icebergs, the last on the 25th of 
February in latitude 52 52' S. and longitude 26 31' E. 
On the 1 8th of March he reached the coast of the Cape, 
on the 22nd he anchored in Table Bay, and thus com- 
pleted his second circumnavigation of the world. In 
regard of its success and its results, Cook's second 
voyage round the world was the greatest made since the 
first by Magellan and his successors. On the 30th of 
July of the same year Cook arrived in the roads at 
Spithead after a voyage of upwards of three years. 

The result of Cook's second circumnavigation of the 
globe was of the greatest importance as regarded the 
knowledge acquired of its actual surface. His voyage 
therefore not only holds rank as the brilliant achievement 
of a great navigator, but in regard of its influence 
and consequences must decidedly be placed beside the 
discoveries of Christopher Columbus and his successors, 
to which it is indeed the obvious complement. If 
Columbus set out to find a new course to the well-known 
eastern continent, and found a new world instead of the 
narrow seas he expected, it was Cook who verified that, 
in place of the vast mythical southern continent that had 
loomed large since the palmy days of classic antiquity, 
the southern hemisphere of our earth was covered by 


boundless wastes of water, and that the preponderating 
surface consisted not of land but of sea. For the first 
time the true limits were set of the " Oikumene," the 
habitable countries of the globe. The only field left for 
exploration and discovery lay in the extension of North 
America to the north-west, and this also Cook achieved 
on his third and last great voyage, which ended with his 
death in Hawaii. 

If now the results of the second voyage, so far as the 
great Terra australis is concerned, be summed up, it is 
found that Cook circumnavigated the earth in latitude 
50° S., with the exception of the portions between lon- 
gitude 57° to 65° E. and 159/ to 180° E. Moreover, he 
traversed 1 15° of longitude in a latitude of 6o° or higher, 
and three times crossed the Antarctic circle. These three 
points were, in round numbers, in longitude 30° E., be- 
tween 1 35° and 146° W., and lastly between 102 and 
1 09° W. In this last advance he attained to a latitude of 
71° 10' S., which for many a year remained, as before 
said, the extreme point reached in the southern hemi- 
sphere. Land he certainly newly discovered in the South 
Sandwich Isles, probably when pressing farthest south, 
and perhaps when first crossing the Antarctic circle, but 
he did not discover South Georgia nor succeed on this 
voyage in finding the French discoveries of Bouvet and 
Marion. This omission was made good at the beginning 
of his third voyage in December, 1776, when he found 
the Marion Isles (renamed Prince Edward's Isles after 
the Duke of Kent) and Kerguelen. The geographical 
position of both was at the same time accurately deter- 

Cook therefore had proved the absence of a southern 
continent as previously imagined, and at the same time 
the preponderance of water in the southern hemisphere, 
though with smaller portions of land in the higher lati- 
tudes. He was the first to bring a report of the com- 


pletely polar character of these apparently desolate ice-clad 
islands, destitute of all vegetation, as he was the first to re- 
late the dangers of the great southern polar ocean, covered 
with ice and innumerable icebergs, obstacles which 
rendered the land unapproachable — " countries (we quote 
Cook's own words) condemned to everlasting rigidity by 
Nature, never to yield to the warmth of the sun, for 
whose wild and desolate aspect I find no words : such 
are the countries we have discovered : what then may 
those resemble which lie still further to the south? It 
is reasonable to suppose that we have seen the best, 
being the most northerly. Should any one possess the 
resolution and the fortitude to elucidate this point by 
pushing yet further south than I have done, I shall not 
envy him the fame of his discovery, but I make bold 
to declare that the world will derive no benefit from it." 


It seemed for a long time as if the course of events 
justified the doubt of the great British navigator as to 
whether the Antarctic regions, which he had opened up, 
would ever be sought out anew. The years which 
followed upon Cook's last voyage saw no new scientific 
exploration of the southern polar seas. Though it would 
be a serious mistake to suppose that the spirit of inquiry 
had relinquished the quest, more urgent claims had come 
into notice, the survey of the newly-found coasts of 
Australia and North America, as well as the innumerable 
islands scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, the 
lack of interest in the Antarctic regions was doubtless a 
result of the political situation in Europe. The conflicts 
of Republican and Napoleonic France and her allies, 
which wholly absorbed the resources of England and 
of France, completely paralysed all inclination for costly 
maritime exploration. For a long time the waters of 


the Antarctic seas were visited in their better-known 
regions only by seal hunters. Indeed, in South Georgia 
the sea-elephants and fur-seals were, in but few years 
after Cook's report, nearly completely extirpated by 
English and American hunters. 

The only incident worthy of mention during the whole 
time between the voyages of Cook and the early twenties 
of the present century is the re-discovery of Bouvet's 
Cape Circoncision in 1808. This was achieved by two 
whaling vessels owned by the London firm of Enderby, 
the Snow Swan, commanded by James Lindsay, and the 
Otter, commanded by Thomas Hopper. The first saw 
land on the 6th of October, 1808, which he approached as 
near as the stacked-up ice would permit. According to 
observations and the ship's reckoning, the ship lay in 
latitude 55 15' S. and in longitude 4° 15' E., only a 
few nautical miles from land. After an unsuccessful 
attempt to find an available harbour Lindsay left the 
island on the 13th of October, after Hopper also had 
sighted it on the 10th. 

As chance appears to have played the principal part 
in the re-discovery of a forgotten land which neither 
Cook had succeeded in finding previously, nor James 
Clarke Ross was to succeed in finding subsea i uently, so 
chance apparently was the principal factor in finding 
the land once discovered by Dirk Gerritz, At all 
events, probability points that way, and it is certain that 
the English hydrographer, James Horsburgh, told the 
German geographer, Heinrich Berghaus, that the island 
group had been a station for American seal-hunters since 
18 1 2. The motive for keeping its existence secret was 
the desire to retain the sole use of the station for their 
own profit. Meantime nothing further was known of 
these islands, and it is owing to the English merchant 
captain, William Smith, that they re-entered the range of 
human ken. Smith had sailed far south in rounding 


Cape Horn on a voyage from the River Plate to Val- 
paraiso in February, 1819, and when in latitude 62 30' 
S. and longitude 6o° W., discovered land. He put off 
an investigation of it till his return voyage in August of 
the same year. He verified the existence of a chain of 
islands between latitude 6i° and 63 S. and longitude 
58° and 63° W., lying in the direction from north-east to 
south-west. To these he gave the name of the New 
South Shetland Isles. After his subsequent return to 
Valparaiso he immediately communicated his discovery 
to Captain Sheriff, of the English frigate Andromache 
stationed there, and Captain Sheriff appointed a thor- 
oughly competent officer, Bransfield, to accompany Smith 
on his return. Bransfield accomplished his task of laying 
clown the land with the greatest care and accuracy. Smith 
and Bransfield determined the extent of the island group 
to reach 53 s W., where the two isolated islands, Elephant 
and Clarence Island, lie. They then pushed further south 
on the meridian, 52^-° W. to nearly 65 S., without, how- 
ever, sighting the elevations of Louis-Philippe Land, 
which lay not very far to the west of their course. 

Almost at the same time an American seal-hunting 
ship had appeared in these waters, the brig Hersilia, 
James Sheffield, captain, in search of the Gerritz Land 
laid down in the charts. Scarcely had the discovery of 
the island group arid its wealth of valuable seals been 
made known, when the coasts swarmed with English 
and American seal-hunters, who rendered good service 
in determining the outlines of the land. Foremost 
among them was the able English navigator, James 
Weddell, also the Englishmen, Walker and Powell, and 
the Americans, Palmer, Pendleton and others, who had 
appeared with a fleet of thirty vessels in 1821. Before 
long the group of the South Orkneys, further east, was 
discovered, as well as a portion of the greater island 
chain, which extends further to the south of the South 



Shetland Isles. These, which have been named Palmer 
Land and Trinity Land, are separated from the South 
Shetlands by Bransfield Straits ; Louis-Philippe Land 
farther east was, on the other hand, not known till 
subsequently discovered by Dumont D'Urville. 

In the midst of this swarm of seal-hunting vessels, 
two ships made their appearance in 182 1, having left 
the Russian harbour of Kronstadt in 181 9, presumably 

Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. 

without having been made acquainted with the discovery 
of Smith. The object of this expedition was to make a 
voyage of circumnavigation in high southern latitudes, 
the first since Cook's achievements. It was under the 
command of Captain Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, 
and the vessels, the Wostok, under Bellingshausen, and 
the Mirny, under Lazarew, had been sent out by the 


Czar, Alexander I., with orders to push as far south as 
possible. In December, 1819, Bellingshausen sailed 
round South Georgia on the southern side, laying down 
the land as accurately as possible, and then steered to- 
wards South Sandwich Land. On his way he discovered 
a lofty island on the 3rd of January, 1820, in latitude 
5 6° 41' S. and longitude 2 8° 9' W., and on the following 
day, two more discoveries were made. On one of them, 
Sawadowskji, there was an active volcano, and Bel- 
lingshausen gave the group the name of the Traversey 
Islands, in honour of the Russian Minister of Marine. 
On the 8th of January he had reached the northernmost 
portions of the South Sandwich group seen by Cook 
and named the Candlemas Islands. Bellingshausen laid 
them down accurately, as well as the remaining islands, 
and determined that they were not a portion of an ex- 
tensive coast, as Cook had erroneously supposed, but 
all of them islands of small extent. To the south of the 
islands he first penetrated as far as 6o° 30' S. in longitude 
28° W., but in consequence of the dense pack-ice he twice 
found himself compelled to recross latitude 6o° S. The 
third time he crossed in longitude 7 W. and now sailed 
due south. 

On the 28th of January the vessels had reached a 
latitude of 69 21' S. on the meridian 2° 15' W. when 
they were stopped by an ice barrier, so that Bellings- 
hausen was compelled to cruise towards the east ; once 
again, when on meridian i° n' W., he succeeded in 
penetrating to latitude 66° 25' S. on the 2nd of February, 
to be again thwarted by the impenetrable ice. He in 
consequence steered north and north-east as far as latitude 
65° S. and longitude 18° E. where wind and ice seemed 
favourable for another attempt to reach a higher latitude ; 
successful in reaching 69 6' S. on the 17th and 1 8th of 
February, progress was again stopped by an interminable 
rampart of ice extending east and west as far as eye could 


see. The next day, when all attempts at further progress 
had been relinquished, and the course towards the north 
already begun, a kind of sea-swallow (Sterna) was 
observed, from whose presence Bellingshausen concluded 
that he must be in the neighbourhood of land. This 
occurred in latitude 68° 5' S. and longitude 16° $1' E. 
As far as 34° E. the ships now held a course somewhat 
south of 65° S. then the direction was changed to south- 
east again, so that under longitude 40° 56' E. a latitude 
of 66° 53' S. was attained. At the same time, however, 
the ice again grew so dense that further attempts to 
penetrate it appeared useless. This was almost exactly 
in the same region whence Cook had undertaken his 
first advance south, and had in like manner encountered an 
impenetrable barrier of ice. Here also Bellingshausen 
was oi opinion that land could not be far distant, as he 
repeatedly observed birds not usually met with at any 
great distance from land. If only he had continued his 
eastward course five degrees farther he would of necessity 
have encountered Enderby Land, now accurately laid 
down. He continued his course along latitude 62 30' S. 
as far as longitude 69° E., crossed latitude 6o° S. only 
under 88° E. in the latter part of March, surrounded by 
drift-ice, and now turned to Port Jackson, i.e., Sydney, 
in New South Wales. 

After spending the southern winter in the careful 
exploration and laying down of the Paumotu group, he 
left Sydney on the 1st of December, 1820, at the be- 
ginning of the southern summer, and steered south. 
On the 10th of the same month he fell in with the first 
icebergs in latitude 62° 18' S. and longitude 164 13' E., 
and dense pack-ice soon after, enclosing numerous ice- 
bergs, one of which Bellingshausen estimated at (11 
km.) nearly seven miles. The pack-ice compelled his 
keeping close to the edge towards the south-east, where 
the number of the icebergs increased, so that at one time 


upwards of a hundred were counted within sight of the 
ships. At length, on the 14th, the end of the pack-ice 
was reached, and open sea was seen to the south and 
east. After an interval of rather more than a week, during 
which the Antarctic circle was crossed, the pack-ice re- 
appeared, enclosing gigantic icebergs, of which one is 
said to have had a length and breadth of eleven miles. 
On the 26th of December the pack-ice again completely 
blocked their course, so that a second return to latitude 
6o° S. in longitude 144° W. was necessary. The intrepid 
and indefatigable commander again steered to the south- 
east with the result that a latitude of 67 50' S. was 
again attained in longitude 120° W., and again the 
barrier of pack-ice stopped further progress on the 13th 
of January, 1821. The former expedient was again 
adopted. Bellingshausen returned to nearly 63 S. lati- 
tude and 103 W. longitude, crossing the Antarctic circle 
for the sixth time. Sailing along the edge of the pack- 
ice towards a remarkably bright ice-blink in the south, he 
reached the highest point attained during his voyage in 
latitude 69° 53' S. and longitude 92 19 W., on the 22nd 
of January. He was, however, again obliged to return, 
owing to the increased density of the drift-ice and the 
danger of being surrounded and blocked in. 

Steering to the north a small dark point was per- 
ceived towards the east on the afternoon of the same 
day. As the weather cleared this was seen to be snow- 
covered land, and the next day it turned out on nearer 
approach to be a steep, lofty island, estimated as having 
an altitude of upwards of 4,000 feet. It received the 
name of Peter I.'s Island, and the situation was deter- 
mined to be latitude 68° 57' S. and longitude 90 46' W. 
As Bellingshausen felt convinced that more land was to 
be discovered in this region, he steered to the east in 
about latitude 68° 30' S., and actually had the satisfaction 
of sighting a coast, with a prominent cape in the distance, 


on the 29th of January. Meanwhile it was impossible to 
approach the land nearer than forty nautical miles out, so 
that all that could be done was to determine that the land 
evidently stretched away in a south-westerly direction 
and that, with trifling exceptions, it was covered with 
snow. The cape was found to be situated in latitude 
68° 43' S. and longitude J3 10' W. ; it received the 
name of Alexander I.'s Coast. Unfortunately Bellings- 
hausen did not endeavour to penetrate farther to the 
north-east, indeed he steered due north as far as latitude 
6o° S., and then made for the South Shetland Isles, of the 
•discovery of which he had probably received information 
during the course of his voyage. Here he met some of 
the before-mentioned seal-hunters, Palmer among them, 
whose information doubtless was serviceable in laying 
down the islands. At length he steered north by way 
of the South Orkneys and South Georgia, and returned 
to Kronstadt in July, 182 1, after a voyage of two years. 

Although the achievements of Bellingshausen have 
not thrown those of Cook into the shade, they are never- 
theless highly important. He certainly did not reach so 
high a latitude as Cook, having attained only to 1 J° short 
of the point achieved by the English navigator. On 
the other hand, he six times crossed and recrossed the 
Antarctic circle, navigated no fewer than 243 meridians 
of longitude beyond 6o° S. latitude, 46 being within the 
Antarctic circle ; at several points he saw indications of 
land ; in two cases at least he incontestably discovered 
land ; and all this with two slow-sailing vessels, little 
fitted for progress in ice-bound waters. Concerning the 
further results of his voyage scarcely anything, unfor- 
tunately, is known. His rare work was published only 
in the Russian language, assuredly to the great loss of 

Although Bellingshausen, as compared with Cook, 
had considerably diminished the probability of the exist- 


ence of an extensive south polar continent by his circum- 
navigation, such narrowing of the probability within a 
comparatively small area followed a year later by means 
of the bold, energetic advance of James Weddell, the 
seal-hunter, who had already distinguished himself in his 
investigation of the South Shetland and South Orkney 
Isles. Weddell left the Thames on the 1 7th of September, 
1822, and steered south ; he had two small vessels at his 
disposal — the brig Jane under his own command, and the 
cutter Beaufoy under M. Brisbane. After a short, un- 
avoidable detention at Puerto Valdes on the Patagonian 
coast he made for the South Orkney Isles, which he had 
seen the previous year, but without being able to examine 
them. On the 12th of January, when the ships were sur 
rounded by numerous icebergs, the island group came in 
sight. Weddell utilised an eleven days' stay not only for 
seal-hunting, but for an accurate survey of the islands, not 
apparently being aware that this had already been very 
thoroughly done by Powell and Palmer during the 
southern summer of 182 1-2. As several of Weddells 
men thought they saw land far away to the south-east, 
from a mountain on the south coast of the principal 
eastern island, he set sail on the 23rd of January, 1823, in 
the direction indicated, but without result, for the expected 
land turned out to be nothing but an enormous number 
of gigantic icebergs. In spite of this disappointment, 
Weddell penetrated south as far as latitude 64 58' S., 
under longitude 39 41' W., returning, however, to the 
north in order to ascertain whether any land lay between 
the South Orkney and the South Sandwich groups, as he 
was inclined to believe. During this quest he was care- 
ful to avoid the course of the Adventure which, under 
Fourneaux' command, had closely approached the South 
Shetland and South Orkney groups, as well as South 
Georgia, in the southern summer of 1773-4 without,, 
however, seeing them. 


As soon as Weddell had reached the course taken by 
Cook to the west of the South Sandwich Isles, and had 
convinced himself of the non-existence of any land in the 
region he had just traversed, he again on the 5th of 
February shaped his course south under meridian 31° 
W. On the 10th of February the Antarctic circle was 
crossed after a passage surrounded by numerous icebergs, 
in longitude 32 32' W. — one of the icebergs covered 
with the rubble carried down to the sea giving the delusive 
appearance of land in sight. In latitude 68 J° S. the 
imperilled ships were compelled warily to steer their 
course through countless icebergs ; and yet, only four 
days later, on the 18th of February, in a latitude 72° ^8' S. 
not a trace of ice was to be seen, the sun shone bright 
from a clear sky, and the sea was literally covered with 
birds, especially stormy petrels. These conditions re- 
mained practically unchanged during the subsequent two 
days, and on the 20th of February the vessels had at- 
tained a latitude of 74 15' S. in longitude 34° 17' W. 
Nowhere on the horizon was land to be seen, and the 
only objects visible above the level of the sea besides 
the ships were four little icebergs. Weddell would gladly 
have continued his course south in these favourable cir- 
cumstances, but the condition of his ships crews and 
provisions, as well as the prospect of a long return voyage, 
compelled him to steer north again. The Antarctic circle 
was rapidly reached owing to the favourable winds mostly 
from the south, but here the former perils and delays of a 
region of innumerable icebergs were again encountered 
by the ships, and during a heavy storm on the 5th of 
March the little cutter was separated from the principal 
vessel. The two, however, happily met again in safety 
on the 1 2th of March in Adventure Bay, on the southern 
coast of South Georgia, where Weddell took the oppor- 
tunity of letting his crews, who were suffering from 
scurvy, rest and recruit, and also of exploring and in- 


vestigating the immediate neighbourhood of the bay. 
The actual winter was spent on the Falkland Isles, for 
which they set sail on the 17th of April, intending to 
winter there till the beginning of October. Weddell's 
plan was to load his vessels with seal-skins during the 
summer of 1823-4, having so far had but little oppor- 
tunity on this voyage. To his great surprise he found 
the islands barricaded by a broad zone of dense pack-ice, 
so that it was impossible, in spite of strenuous exertions, 
to approach them. He saw himself compelled to sail for 
Cape Horn, and there to await the summer season. 
While he was engaged in the survey of the neighbour- 
hood of the cape, the cutter had succeeded in reaching 
the South Shetland Isles and laying in a rich store of 
skins. In January, 1824, Weddell left the waters of 
Tierra del Fuego and returned to England by way of 
the Falkland Isles and Monte Video in July of the same 

The results of Weddell's voyage, in spite of its com- 
paratively limited extent, were nevertheless important. 
For one thing, he had ascertained that the newly dis- 
covered land in high latitudes to the east nowhere reached 
the meridian of 30 ; secondly, he was the first to point 
out that after forcing a passage through the pack-ice, 
which is nowhere so dense and heavy as in the Arctic 
zone, and after a perilous passage through masses of 
numerous icebergs, the sea in the higher latitudes was 
singularly free from ice. His greatest success, however, 
must be admitted to be a moral success, for he broke the 
ban under which Cook had laid the Antarctic, not only 
in reaching the highest latitude attained by Cook, but 
indeed in surpassing him by three degrees, and this with 
two small, insignificant vessels. Moreover, his discoveries 
had been made by the way, as it were, without the 
ordinary preparation and outfit of an actual voyage of 
discovery. It would be unjust, indeed, to attribute to 


good fortune the results achieved by the intrepidity and 
fortitude of the skilful commander and his crews, and 
an unpleasant impression is made when the celebrated 
Captain, subsequently Admiral, Dumont D'Urville dis- 
credits Weddell's account, apparently because he was 
not successful in following his course himself. 

For many years, in the region of the South Shetlands 
and the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago, seals continued to 
be eagerly hunted and exterminated. In the twenties, 
however, a scientific expedition appeared in these waters 
without any intention of adding to existing maps and 
■charts by the discoveries of which they were in search. 
The Chanticleer, an English frigate commanded by Cap- 
tain Foster, came to these islands, not for the purpose 
of searching for new Antarctic lands, but because they 
offered the best opportunity as being the southernmost 
land then known for completing the investigations begun 
in 1822 and 1823 by the eminent navigator and physicist, 
Edward Sabine. His observations on the pendulum 
and on magnetic variations had been carried on over 
the whole area of the Atlantic Ocean, with the exception 
of the higher southern latitudes, and it was intended, 
by completing the former, to secure data for arriving 
at an accurate knowledge of the form of the globe. 
Foster left Staten Land on the 21st of December, 1828, 
and on the 3rd of January, 1829, arrived in sight of 
Smith Island, the most westerly of the South Shetlands. 
Without, however, making any delay he steered due 
south through Bransfield Straits to the Trinity and 
Palmer Land groups, uselessly re-naming them Clarence 
Land, and landing to take possession at Cape Possession, 
a promontory on the probably very small Hoseason Is- 
land, which he took to be part of an extensive coast. 
The situation of the cape he determined to be latitude 
63 26' S. and longitude 64° 6' W. As early as the 
second day after, the Chanticleer made for the interior of 


Deception Island, an almost circular volcanic crater island 
still showing active fumaroles. Here Foster remained till 
the 8th of March, when he hurriedly turned north with- 
out giving the least attention to the remaining members 
of the island group. 

Far more important than this, the only scientific 
expedition — that of Bellingshausen excepted — was a 
voyage made by the seal-hunter, John Biscoe, in the 
service of the London firm of Enderby, and not a 
voyage of discovery at all. This took place in the years 
1830-32. Biscoe, like Weddell, had two vessels, the brig 
Tula and the cutter Lively, and with these he left 
London for the Falkland Islands on the 14th of July, 
1830. Leaving these on the 27th of November he, like 
Weddell, kept to the east, making search for the Aurora 
Isles. These were said to have been seen by the 
Spanish ship Aurora in 1762, by another Spaniard, 
the Princesa, in 1790, and by the Spanish corvette 
Atrevida, in 1794, somewhere about latitude 53° S. and 
longitude 48 W. However, neither Weddell nor Biscoe 
found a trace of these islands, and Biscoe now turned 
south, being the first since Bellingshausen, as far as is 
known, to make for the South Sandwich Islands. On 
the 10th of December, he met with icebergs in longitude 
29° 15' W., and about latitude 53 S., and lost sight of 
the little cutter for four days. On the 20th of De- 
cember he sighted Montague Island from the east, and 
on the following day Bristol Island and Friesland Island, 
members of the South Sandwich group. After a vain 
attempt to penetrate the heavy field-ice to the south of 
these islands, Biscoe found himself compelled to steer 
north, after having crossed the 60th parallel of southern 
latitude. On the meridian of longitude 6° 20' W., he 
recrossed the 60th parallel, and on longitude 2 30' E., 
he crossed the Antarctic circle ; this was on the 21st of 
January, 1 83 1, in an all but perfectly open sea. On the 


i st of February a latitude of 6o° 25' S. was attained on 
meridian 13° E. longitude. Here, quite close to the 
region where Bellingshausen on observing sea-swallows 
conjectured that he was in the neighbourhood of land, 
Biscoe likewise saw various birds, that are said by ex- 
perienced Antarctic navigators never to venture far out 
to sea, flying to the south-west. The water also pre- 
sented a lighter appearance, and it was even supposed 
that land was visible, but this was by no means certain. 
Again on the 4th of February land was apparently re- 
peatedly seen, but as the edge of the pack-ice here 
changed its direction it became impossible to follow up 
or investigate this doubtful appearance, and the vessels 
were obliged to take a somewhat more north-easterly 
course. The whole course towards the east had to be 
won by strenuous effort, for the direction of the winds 
and of the surface currents of the sea was almost entirely 
east and south-east towards the west or north-west ; and, 
in addition, the ships were constantly hindered and 
opposed by the floating masses of ice. On the 19th of 
February, Biscoe and his ships were in precisely the 
place where Cook's progress had been stayed by a vast 
mass or wall of ice, and found themselves in precisely 
the same situation. 

At length, on the 25th of February, when the vessels 
lay in latitude 66° 2' S. and longitude 43 54' E., land 
was clearly seen, but it was unapproachable on account 
of the heavy field-ice. Here again was the closed,, 
vertical ice barrier, which Biscoe, for height and ap- 
pearance, compared to the North Foreland, a steep 
chalk cliff on the Kentish coast, upwards of a hundred 
feet high, overlooking the sea between Margate and 
Ramsgate. On the 27th of February, in latitude 65 
57' S. and longitude 47 26' E., elevated country of con- 
siderable extent was seen, but surrounded by an impene- 
trable belt of ice. Biscoe attempted to break through 


this, encountering a violent storm of three days, during 
which the two ships were parted from each other, and 
Biscoe's vessel was driven 120 nautical miles to the N.N.W. 
Nevertheless, he was again successful in seeing land 
when on meridian 49 E. longitude, though unable to 
approach nearer than between twenty and thirty nautical 
miles. In consequence of the very serious effects of ex- 
posure and hardship on the health of the crew of the 
Tula, the leader felt it necessary to give up all further 
search and exploration, and to steer north for the island 
of Tasmania, reaching Hobart Town on the 7th of May. 
During this run two of the crew had died, and the rest 
were in so deplorable a condition through the ravages of 
sickness that the ship was worked by only three officers, 
one seaman, and one cabin boy. It is remarkable that 
Biscoe kept within the sixtieth parallel as far as longitude 
8i° E., and did not cross parallel 55° S. until he had 
passed meridian 11 8° E. longitude. 

Biscoe remained in Hobart Town, where the Lively 
came in from Australia in August, till the return of the 
southern spring made a renewal of his voyage possible. 
He left the harbour on the 10th of October, 1831, and 
set out to hunt seals on the coasts of New Zealand and 
the Chatham and Bounty Islands. On the 4th of January, 
1832, he again steered to the south-east, and very 
soon after crossing the sixtieth parallel of latitude on 
meridian 137 W., the usual harbingers of the Antarctic 
regions appeared in the form of icebergs. This was on 
the 25th of January, and six days later there were 
already a hundred in sight. On the 12th of February, 
in longitude 8i° 50' W., a latitude of 66° 27' S. was 
attained, and here numerous birds were seen, as also 
whales, while even from deck — not merely from the mast- 
head — as many as 250 icebergs could be seen on all sides. 
On the 1 5th of February land appeared in the far distance 
towards E.S.E., and this, on the following day turned 


out to be an island, which was named Adelaide Island. 
Its situation was determined to be latitude 6j° 15' S. and 
longitude 68° 20' W., and the explorations of the follow- 
ing weeks showed that it was one of an island chain 
scattered in the direction from E.N.E. to W.S.W., the 
outpost of elevated land which has been called Graham's 
Land, while the islands were subsequently called Biscoe 
Islands. After Biscoe had landed farther north on the 
west coast of Palmer Land, he turned to the South 
Shetland Islands where he barely escaped shipwreck, 
thence to the Falkland Islands, and then home to Eng- 
land. While in the Falkland Islands the two vessels 
parted company, and it was not till Biscoe reached St. 
Caterina in Brazil that he heard the news of the ship- 
wreck of the cutter in the Falkland Isles, though happily 
the crew had been saved. 

Biscoe's voyage is frequently overlooked, though un- 
justly, for in reality his efforts and his results, even if he 
did not push forward to so high a latitude as Weddell, 
have a greater value than Weddell's advance to the south. 
Biscoe completed a circumnavigation of the pole, for the 
greater part in high latitudes ; he succeeded in this with 
two insignificant little vessels, augmenting considerably 
beyond any predecessor our acquaintance with the dis- 
tribution of land in the Antarctic regions. He not only 
indicated, partly by discovery, partly by well-founded 
conjecture, the existence of land to the south of the 
Indian Ocean, but discovered the most extensive coast 
knowm previous to the discoveries of Wilkes and 
D'Urville, probably the connecting link between Dirk 
Gerritz Archipelago and Alexander I. Land. Biscoe's 
achievements met with generous recognition in Europe at 
the time, and the Geographical Societies of London and 
Paris conferred high distinctions on him. Messrs. 
Enderby's firm immediately placed two other ships at 
his disposal, to enable him to complete his investigations,, 


and the Admiralty appointed Lieutenant Reato take part in 
the expedition for the purpose of accurately determining 
the position of land by means of astronomical observa- 
tions. However, Biscoe found himself obliged to with- 
draw from the command of the expedition at the last 
moment, and although it followed his plan, undertaking 
this time the voyage from east to west, it was already 
completely surrounded by the ice in the South Shetland 
Isles, one of the ships was crushed, and the other barely 
escaped a similar fate ; this was in the southern summer 
of 1832-3. 

Another seal-hunting captain, Kemp, fared better. 
In the turn of the year 1833, and in longitude 59J E., 
he succeeded in penetrating as far as latitude 66° S., and 
there saw land, named Kemp Land after him. Un- 
fortunately, nothing further is known of his discoveries 
than what may be gathered from the British Admiralty 
Charts, where his course and the land he sighted are 
laid down. 

Several years now passed before any fresh discovery 
was made in South Polar regions, nevertheless this is 
the place for making mention of the voyages said to have 
been made by the American, Morrell, whose accounts 
unfortunately still haunt our charts. Morrell states that 
on the nth of January, 1823, having visited South 
Georgia and the Bouvet Isles and left Kerguelen be- 
hind, he, on the 1st of February, found himself in 
latitude 64 52' S. and longitude 118° 27' E., in the very 
place, therefore, where Balleny and Wilkes distinctly 
saw land ; Morrell, however, makes no mention of it. 
Now he steered to the west, and suddenly, without any 
indication of the course pursued and entirely without 
date, the vessel seems to have attained a latitude of 
69° n' S., longitude 48° 15' E., due south consequently 
of Enderby Land. Here, strange to say, a small 
number of icebergs was seen, no field-ice, and as a 


matter of course, no land whatever ; for land is an ob- 
stacle to the drifting north of field-ice and icebergs. 
Morrell now constantly steered to the west, of course 
along the high parallel of latitude 69° S., and in 69° 42' 
S. passed the meridian of Greenwich on the 23rd of 
February. In continuation, the vague account seems 
to indicate that the South Sandwich Islands were reached 
a few days later, for already on the 28th of February, 
the Candlemas Islands — the most northerly of the group 
if Traversey Islands are excepted — were in sight ; this 
would mean that within five days a distance of 1,200 
miles had been traversed by a sailing ship in seas 
beset with ice. The islands appeared as "burning 
volcanoes," and the westernmost had "already been 
burnt down to the water's edge " ! Nine active vol- 
canoes altogether were observed — fire enough, Morrell 
thought, but none of the fuel of which he was in need. 
That is to say, he had sought out these islands in the 
hope of picking up drift-wood there, without any explana- 
tion whatever of the source from which he expected it 
to come. 

On the 6th of March the exploration was concluded, 
and with the audacity that characterises him, Morrell, 
though the season was far too advanced, steered south- 
west in spite of it. On the nth of March, after a 
dangerous passage through pack-ice, he is in a perfectly 
free and open sea in latitude 64 21' S. and longitude 
38 51' W. On the 14th of March latitude yo° 14 S. is 
attained — longitude not given — only a few icebergs are 
in sight, the water has a temperature of 44*06 F. and 
the air 46*9 F., and that at a time close to the equinoxes ! 
The bold explorer is stayed in his progress under these 
favourable conditions by " circumstances " which are not 
more specifically described, though he is all the time 
confident of. being able to reach, without difficulty, a 
parallel of 85 S. A course towards the north-west is 


taken, and land is seen the very next day, the east coast 
of the land already named New South Greenland by an 
apocryphal Captain Johnson, in a part across which 
James Clark Ross sailed without obstacle twenty years 
later. They land and explore for some distance ; one point 
of the coast lies about latitude 6j° 52' S. and longitude 
48 ii' W., the northern extremity is said to be in lati- 
tude 64° 41' S. and longitude 47° 21' W., again a position 
unfortunately that Powell had already sailed over as early 
as 182 1. 

It is not necessary to dwell upon these travellers' 
tales — the parts instanced are amply sufficient to prove 
Morrell's lack of veracity ; moreover, it would seem that 
the account of his travels published in New York in 
1832 was withdrawn soon after Biscoe's discoveries were 
made known — at all events the book is very rarely met 
with. The account of Bouvet Island seems to have 
been appropriated from an account by Captain Norris, of 
whom mention has already been made. Captain Norris, 
with two ships, while in Messrs. Enderby's service, had 
found an island under latitude 54 15' S. and longitude 
5 E. on the 10th of December, 1825, and this he called 
Liverpool Island. On the 13th of December he came 
upon another island, named by him Thompson Island, 
forty-five nautical miles to the north-east of the island 
previously seen, and upon this he found it possible to 
land. Both islands turned out to be of exclusively 
volcanic origin. 

From this excursion into the realm of plausible fable 
we return to the sober narrative of Antarctic discovery. 
An interval of several uneventful years followed upon 
Biscoe's important and fruitful voyage, during which there 
is no noticeable achievement to record in the annals of 
Antarctic exploration. Not till the year 1838 did the 
meritorious firm of Messrs. Enderby again send out one 
of their most distinguished captains to explore such por- 


tions of the circumpolar seas as had up to that time still 
remained unknown. Appearances at least lead to the 
supposition that John Balleny must have worked out 
some such plan in his voyage between longitude ioo° 
and 1 63° E. along parallel 6o° of south latitude ; for, with 
the exception of the distance traversed by Captain Cook 
from ioo° to 121 E. longitude in a latitude of 6o^° S., 
no vessel had as yet completed the circumnavigation of 
the pole so far south. It is true that only two very small 
vessels were placed at Balleny's disposal : the schooner 
Eliza Scott under his own command, and the cutter 
Sabrina under H. Freeman — the latter with its tonnage 
of fifty-four being scarcely larger than the ship's boat of 
a modern ironclad. On the 16th of July, 1838, Balleny 
left London and immediately shaped his course for the 
waters of New Zealand. After a visit to Campbell 
Island, south of New Zealand, where by a strange 
chance he met John Biscoe, he on the 17th of January, 
1839, made direct for south-east and then for due south. 
Up to the 27th of January the ships continued sailing in 
this direction without encountering either land or ice, but 
-on that date they saw their first iceberg in latitude 63 
37' S. and longitude 176° 50' E. Precisely in the place 
where Bellingshausen in December, 1820, had been com- 
pelled to return in consequence of the heavy pack-ice, 
Balleny, on the 28th of January, reached his easternmost 
point without serious hindrance in latitude 65 30' S. and 
longitude 178° 13' E. Now he took his course towards 
the south-west, and on the very following day, in 
latitude 66° 40' S. and longitude 177 50' E., he came 
upon the field-ice which shut in the southern horizon, 
studded with numerous icebergs. In spite of the drift- 
ice, which was not heavy, the ships continued their course 
next day, and on the 1st of February, in latitude 69° S. 
and longitude 172 11' E., they reached the edge of the 
heavy pack-ice, and were thus compelled to return. 


After a nine days' sail, during which the ships had an 
arduous and toilsome task in working their way towards 
the west through the ice and against the wind, a dark 
mass was seen to rise on the horizon towards the south- 
west on the 9th of February. Balleny at once made for 
this, and after an hour the ships had approached within 
five nautical miles of it.' At sunset it could be distinctly 
seen that the land consisted of three large islands, and as 
no attempt to land could possibly be carried out, Balleny 
was obliged to rest content with ascertaining and deter- 
mining their position. According to his observations, 
the west cape of the middle one lay in latitude 66° 44' S. 
and longitude 163 11' E. All three islands, which were 
subsequently named after their discoverer, were almost 
entirely covered with snow, and on all sides glaciers de- 
scended to the sea. 

Baffled by the ice, Balleny now turned to the north- 
west, beyond the 63rd parallel of latitude, observing 
numerous whales and sea-birds on his course. As, how- 
ever, the ice diminished, he again commanded a south- 
westerly direction, and on the 27th of February he found 
himself in latitude 64° 37' S. and longitude 130 22' E. 
On the 2nd of March the drift-ice largely increased, and 
with it the number of birds seen ; at the same time land 
showed in the south, towards which Balleny steered next 
day. He encountered an immense number of icebergs 
of colossal size, while in the south-west the ice closed in 
completely, with land clearly visible beyond. A storm 
meanwhile prevented Balleny's nearer approach, and 
drove him to flee from the dangerous proximity of the 
pack-ice. At the time land was seen the ships were in 
latitude 65° 25' S. and longitude 118 30' E., and no 
doubt can exist as to the correctness of Balleny's observa- 
tions, for Wilkes distinctly saw land from the same place 
when there a year later. Balleny thought he saw land 
some days previously, on the 26th of February, when 


in latitude 64 40' S. and longitude 137° 35' E.,but finally 
concluded that it was only a fog-bank over the icebergs. 
Here, too, the subsequent investigations of Dumont 
D'Urville verified the existence of land. Influenced by 
the advanced time of year and the large numbers of ice- 
bergs, Balleny determined upon his return. He sailed 
to the north-west and crossed the 60th parallel of S. 
latitude on meridian ioo° E. on the 14th of March, en- 
countering violent storms on his further course, in one 
of which, while the schooner suffered severely, the little 
cutter disappeared, leaving no trace behind. He returned 
to London on the 17th of September, still in time to 
communicate particulars of his discoveries to Captain 
James Clark Ross, who was on the point of sailing for 
the very regions from the exploration of which Balleny 
had just returned. 


Balleny may to a certain extent be regarded as the 
forerunner or pioneer of a succession of brilliant scientific 
voyages of discovery to the South Pole, which we are 
now in its entirety accustomed to regard as the great 
era of Antarctic exploration. It was not a mere 
matter of chance that this period was now entered upon, 
although Balleny's voyage across the untried tract of 
southern sea within the 60th parallel of latitude may 
perhaps be regarded as such. It was not chance, for 
just at this time one branch of physiographical know- 
ledge stood in the foreground as a subject of universal 
interest, a subject that actually pointed to the poles of 
the earth in connection with its wider development, and 
that could not be successfully studied without explorations 
north and south — the subject of terrestrial magnetism. 
The high theoretical and practical importance of such 
study had for a long time been recognised, and above 


all others Alexander v. Humboldt was indefatigable 
in exercising his powerful influence in furthering the 
scientific investigation of this particular subject. 

Sabine, and then Foster and others, had taken the 
opportunity given by their travels of observing magnetic 
declination, inclination, and intensity in different places, 
with the view of determining the length of the seconds 
pendulum. Humboldt next prevailed upon the Russian 
Government, in the year 1829, to erect a long line of 
magnetic observatories extending from the Baltic to 
Pekin. The oscillations of the magnetic needle were 
now everywhere eagerly watched, but the lack of a 
connected series of observations in other parts of the 
globe, and more especially in the southern hemisphere, 
began to make itself seriously felt. Humboldt now, by 
means of an open letter to the Royal Society of London, 
called upon the scientific representatives of the Power 
whose territories are most widely scattered over the 
surface of the globe, to erect fixed magnetic stations 
everywhere in the British Colonies. The Royal Society 
readily agreed to share in these investigations of terrestrial 
magnetism, perhaps lest the renown attaching to them 
should become the exclusive possession of Germany 
and Russia. However that may be, the Royal Society 
gave a ready response, and not only determined on the 
erection of fixed stations for magnetic observations them- 
selves, but in the year 1838 called upon the Government 
to send out a scientific expedition to the Antarctic regions. 
This was to be specially designed for observing and 
investigating terrestrial magnetic elements in the higher 
southern latitudes; and, if possible, to discover the southern 
magnetic pole — the real North Pole — of the globe. The 
Government promptly responded to these wishes, and 
determined that two vessels of suitable size, the Erebus 
and the Terror, should be placed at the disposal of the 
Royal Society. The man best capable not only in 


England, but anywhere, of securing brilliant results for 
the expedition, John Clark Ross, was appointed leader. 
He was the more eminent nephew of an already eminent 
uncle, John Ross, and was theoretically and practically 
well fitted for the post. Born in 1800, he accompanied 
Edward Parry on three of his great Arctic voyages as 
early as 1819-25. Then during the years 1829-33 he 
spent four winters amid Arctic ice on his uncle's great 
polar voyage, having on this occasion reached the 
northern magnetic pole. Latterly he had been engaged 
in a coast survey of the shores of Great Britain. By 
study, training, and experience, he had developed a high 
degree of scientific aptitude, and he must be regarded, 
not only as a remarkable hydrographer and skilful polar 
navigator, but as a physicist of the first rank in the 
domain of meteorology and terrestrial magnetism. 

Meanwhile Ross's expedition, though far and away 
the most important, was by no means the only one which 
at that time had for object the exploration of the south 
polar regions. Two great expeditions had left their 
native shores before Ross set out, purposing to investi- 
gate and solve a number of problems, and among them 
those connected with meteorology and terrestrial mag- 
netism in various parts of the globe, and more especially 
in the Pacific Ocean. Their undertaking included an 
extension of their voyages to the southern polar seas, 
and more especially the region due south of the South 
Shetland Isles. The one expedition had been sent out 
by the French Government in 1837 under the command 
of Jules Sebastien Cesar Dumont D'Urville ; it consisted 
of two corvettes, L? Astrolabe and La Zdtie, the latter 
commanded by Captain Jacquinot ; the other, under 
orders from the Government of the United States, was 
a squadron of five vessels, the Vincennes, the Peacock^ 
the Porpoise, the Sea Gull, and the Flying Fish, under 
the command of the American lieutenant, Charles 


Wilkes, as commodore, which left Chesapeake Bay in 
1838. As already stated, both expeditions had been 
designed for purposes other than merely polar explor- 
ation, both commanders having equipment suitable to 
other purposes. Dumont D'Urville was doubtless an 
excellent navigator and hydrographer ; this he had 
abundantly proved during two voyages round the 
world, both with remarkable results, but he was not best 
fitted for navigating polar seas, and openly gave ex- 
pression to his dislike of the enterprise. Neither were 
his vessels properly fitted out for this purpose, in spite of 
the ingenious invention of one of his officers, who had 
strengthened the bows of the vessels against the ice with 
plates made of a sort of brass, though to be sure the 
armour came off at the first encounter. Dumont 
D'Urville's crews moreover were in no way equal to the 
hardships of polar voyages, as was proved by the sad 
mortality among them. The same may be said of the 
American expedition in regard of the ships and the 
absence of polar experience, although it showed a far 
braver front than the French in like circumstances. 
Both expeditions therefore were immeasurably behind 
that of Ross in these particulars, while he was not only 
one of the most eminent of polar navigators himself, but 
was able to select his own officers and crews solely for 
their fitness, and finally, his vessels were specially pre- 
pared and protected for the purpose of polar navigation. 
Nevertheless, both Dumont D'Urville and Wilkes, 
especially the latter, largely contributed to an extended 
and scientific knowledge of the Antarctic regions. 

D'Urville first spent some time at the end of 1837 m 
surveying portions of the region of the Straits of Magellan, 
leaving these waters on the 9th of January, 1838, to steer 
south. He frequently emphasises that it was the primary 
object of his expedition to follow Weddell's course as far 
as was possible, and to exceed it if practicable ; the 



discovery of new land was merely secondary. The first 
ice was seen on the 15th of January in latitude 59° 20' S. 
and longitude 55° 10' W. — broken fragments of an 
iceberg — and soon after, an iceberg appeared in sight. 
After this D'Urville steered between the South Orkney 
Isles and the Elephant and Clarence group, reaching the 
edge of the pack-ice, fast breaking up in the sunshine, on 
the 22nd of January, in latitude 63° 39' S. and longitude 

Jules Sebasttien Cesar Dumont d'Urville. 

44° 47' ' W. However, the ships sailed timidly along the 
edge of the ice, which extended to the north-east. On the 
24th of January the place was passed — latitude 63° 23' S. 
and longitude 42° 57' -W. — which had been seen almost 
entirely clear of ice on the 1st of March, 1823, by Weddell. 
The detailed, nay trivial, description which D'Urville 
gives of the ice-edge is extremely tedious reading : we 
will therefore spare the reader a further account. 



After wasting a number of days in trying to find a 
passage through the pack-ice, he sighted Cape Dundas, 
the easternmost point of the South Orkneys, on the 26th 
of January. He followed the north coast of the island 
group till the 29th of January, and then steered north as far 
as latitude 58 45' S. Meeting with but little ice, he again 
turned south. This was on the 1st of February, but after 
two days the increasing quantity of ice filled him with 
dread, and on the 4th of February he had practically again 
reached the pack-ice in latitude 62 20' S. and longitude 
3J° 8' W. For several days D'Urville this time tried to 

Ice Structure in the South Orkney Islands (after Dumont (TUrville). 

break through the ice, then he gave up every further 
attempt and turned round to the west — more or less 
persuaded that Weddell's account was an invention. On 
the 20th of February he again came in sight of the South 
Orkney Islands, and he landed on Saddle Island ; on the 
25th of February Elephant and Clarence Islands were 
passed on the south, and on the 26th Bridgeman Island, 
which is a small volcanic island, and was just then in active 

Since it was not D'Urville's object more nearly to 


investigate the South Shetland Isles, the highest point 
of which came in sight on the north-east, he steered on 
to the S.S.W., the quantity of ice increasing, and the 
icebergs growing more numerous. On the 27th of 
February several small rocky cliffs were seen rising amid 
the ice, to the great surprise of all. This again occurred 
a few hours later further west, latitude 62 57' S., in the 
part therefore where, on the chart of the Englishman 
Laurie, Hope Island had been laid down. The further 
the ships pressed forward, the more land now became 
visible ; it was, however, soon after obscured by mist. 
As the weather again cleared, it was possible to get 
a general view of the land, the existence of which 
was certainly known previous to D'Urville, and the general 
outlines of which had been laid down on the charts. 
Nothing of the particulars of the older charts could, how- 
ever, be recognised, although the situation, in part at 
least, corresponded to the earlier indications on them, 
so D'Urville felt himself justified in regarding the land 
before him as his own discovery. Towards the east it 
appeared as a connected, low-lying, and uniform whole ; 
on the west it had the appearance of three islands. The 
voyage was continued westward next day in sight of land, 
the clear weather making a more accurate survey pos- 
sible. It appeared completely covered with ice and 
snow, and elevated ; in the south several high summits 
were observed, of which one received the name of Mount 
Jacquinot. Another, situated rather more to the south- 
west and about 3000 feet in height, was called Mount 
D'Urville ; and a third, to the north-east of both, Mount 
Bransfield. All these heights lie on a mass of land called 
Louis-Philippe Land, to the east of which, separated by 
a strait, Joinville Land is situated. 

On the 2nd of March it was possible to approach 
much nearer to the land under Mount D'Urville by enter- 
ing a bay that cuts into the land in a semicircle. Towards 


W.S.W. land could still be seen in the far distance, evi- 
dently already a part of Trinity Land, but between these 
distant heights and Louis-Philippe Land a broad arm of 
the sea seemed to lie, the Orleans Channel, which the 
vessels passed by in mist and rain. On its western shore 
they again came upon a group of five cone-shaped islands, 
entirely free from snow, with heights varying from 320 
to 480 feet. During a short interval the weather cleared, 
and an extent of land was seen behind the islands, but 
soon mist and rain again set in so heavily that safety 
seemed to urge standing off from the land, or rather 
from the Dumoulin Isles, as they had been named. On 
the 4th of March the weather was better, and permitted 
a view of Louis-Philippe Land and of Trinity Land, 
with its snow-clad elevations, as well as of the Orleans 
Channel. On the 5th of March, however, D'Urville 
gave up all further search, steered past Deception Island, 
and through Boyd Straits, between Smith Island and 
Snow Island, to the north. 

It is greatly to be regretted that D'Urville rhade no 
attempt to visit and to lay down the coasts of either 
Trinity Land or Palmer Land ; for, as he himself admits, 
the condition of the ice in Bransfield Straits was very 
favourable. It would also appear from his own account 
that even the Orleans Channel was not entirely impass- 
able ; nay, from the remarks of his officers, one may 
conclude that the Channel was free from ice, and that 
the attempt to sail in was not made merely on account 
of the advanced season and the consequent shortening 
of the daylight. In any event, it must be admitted that 
D'Urville did not achieve what might have been achieved. 
He was anxious to quit the inhospitable polar regions for 
kinder skies, under which, after the squadron had put 
into Chilian harbours, he spent the two subsequent years 
in important undertakings of various kinds. 

It is not impossible that D'Urville would have ab- 


stained from any further activity in the higher southern 
latitudes, had he not been prompted by national vanity 
once again to enter upon the hateful polar regions. In a 
negative sense, he certainly had performed the task ex- 
pected of him, viz., the attainment of a higher latitude 
than Weddell on Weddell's course. It is extremely 
probable that, like Wilkes, he had had news in Australia, 
if not earlier, of the intended expedition of J. C. Ross in 
search of the magnetic South Pole. Hoping to antici- 
pate Ross in this important discovery, he probably 
sought out the regions to which Ross had originally 
been sent out. That the region where Balleny had 
seen land, and where D'Urville and Wilkes found ex- 
tensive tracts, should have been chosen as the goal of 
Ross's voyage, was a consequence of the calculations 
of Gauss of Gottingen. This great mathematician and 
physicist assumed, on the basis of theoretical considera- 
tions, that the magnetic South Pole was to be found in 
approximately latitude 66° S. and longitude 146° E., in 
the neighbourhood, therefore, of D'Urville's Adelie Land. 
On the 2nd of January, 1840, D'Urville left the 
harbour of Hobart Town in Tasmania, where the cele- 
I brated North Polar navigator, John Franklin, at that time 
■■ resided as governor of the island, and steered due south. 
In the neighbourhood of latitude 51° S. he made un- 
successful search for an island,, entered on many charts 
as Royal Company Island, since its existence is very 
doubtful, and it is probable that an iceberg may have 
been mistaken for an island. The first ice was en- 
countered on the 1 6th of January in latitude 6o° S., 
and it again caused D'Urville the keenest anxiety lest 
the ships should again meet the impenetrable pack-ice. 
His apprehensions, however, were entirely unfounded, for 
on the 1 8th of January the vessels had reached latitude 
64° S. without having seen any ice but the five large 
icebergs on the date already mentioned. From their 



regular tabular form, which entirely corresponded to the 
bergs of Louis-Philippe Land, D'Urville correctly con- 
cluded that he was no longer far distant from land. The 
following day the number of icebergs visibly increased ; 
at the same time the distant coast of unknown land 
could be distinctly seen. The day had been clear, and 
the additional heat affected the icebergs surrounding 
the vessels in all directions, streams of water running 
down everywhere from the thawing ice. The wind had 
at the same time completely gone down, and this 

Icebergs to the north of Adelie Land, 18th January, 1840 (after Dumont d'Urville). 

rendered a nearer approach to the land impossible. 
Many of the officers, indeed, still doubted whether it 
was land they saw ; while on their convoy, the ZMe, 
they had been sure of it the day before. 

It was not till the afternoon of the 21st of January that 
they were able to get nearer to the land ; the coast itself 
was still covered with countless icebergs, which had 
obviously detached themselves only a short while before. 
The further the ships pressed forward the more the number 



•of bergs increased, and the more tedious the passage 
through the channels between them became, where the 
echoes multiplied and repeated the officers' words of 
command. At length, after several hours, the ships reached 
open water on the coast, only a few nautical miles from the 
newly-discovered land. This extended south-west and 
north-east to the horizon, completely covered with snow, 
and rose gradually to the south in elevations of from 3,000 
to 3,600 feet. On the further passage along the coast to the 
west a chain of small rocky islets was discovered, and on one 




' _J* 








V- ** .5* <~- 

sir > 

— - ^* 

The Astrolabe and La Zelee on the coast of Adelie Land on 20th January, 1840 
(after Dumont d'Urville). 

of these a landing was effected, and possession of the newly- 
discovered land was taken for France by the unfurling of 
the tricolour. From here it was possible to see that here 
and there single rocky summits stood out beyond the 
frozen covering of the land, and it was also possible to 
collect a few specimens of rock and stone, and from 
these to draw conclusions concerning the petrographical 
character of the country. Now, at length, when abso- 
lutely no doubt remained as to the actual terra firm a of 


their discovery, the land received the name of Terre 
Adelie, in honour of the reigning queen, consort of Louis 

On the following day D'Urville continued the course 
hitherto pursued westward along the coast, the frozen 
covering of which was broken by numerous ravines, and 
called the bay, from which this peculiar characteristic 
of the inland ice had been observed, Baie des Ravines. 
The icebergs in this region frequently showed signs of 
peculiar colouring, blackish and dark red, obviously in- 
dicating earthy matter present in the ice. D'Urville 
attempted to secure drifting pieces of this ice, but with- 
out success, for a strong current along the coast bore the 
ships rapidly along to the west, and rendered it impos- 
sible to lower the boats. The progress of this course 
was suddenly and unexpectedly arrested by pack-ice, the' 
first seen in these waters, which moved in a northerly 
and then easterly direction ; and, therefore, made further 
coasting to the west quite impossible. D'Urville there- 
fore found himself compelled to tack to the east in the 
teeth of a rising and violent wind, in order to extricate 
himself from the bay formed round him by the pack-ice. 
One advantage the storm from the east certainly secured, 
and this was the loosening of the pack-ice. Thus the 
ships were enabled, though at a considerable distance 
from shore, to continue their westerly course after 
escaping from the pack-ice, and retreating to latitude 
64° 48' S. Near this place the French vessels, to their 
unbounded astonishment, saw a ship looming through 
the mist, which turned out to be a brig flying the Ameri- 
can flag, and steering upon them at full speed. D'Urville 
commanded more sail to be set on the Astrolabe, a very- 
slow sailer, to enable her to join the American and 
exchange news. But apparently this manoeuvre was 
misunderstood by the American, for she quickly turned 
south and was soon out of sight. It was one of the ships 


of Wilkes's squadron, the Porpoise, commanded by Hud- 
son, which, to the surprise of both sides, here encountered 
D'Urville's ships on the 29th of January. 

When on the 30th of January the snow, which had 
gradually succeeded to the dense fog of the previous day, 
diminished and the sky cleared, the look-out announced 
pack-ice to the south. D'Urville made for it, but saw on 
his nearer approach that it was not pack-ice at all, and 
that the outer edge of the ice was of an entirely different 
character. It descended in perpendicular walls of 90 to 
140 feet high to the surface of the sea, and thus formed 
a gigantic barrier, stretching far away to the west. Here 
and there, however, local indentations corresponded to 
the icebergs piled up in front of them, and here attaining 
a greater height than had previously been met with. In 
the far distance capes and bays were discerned, but all 
these variations in the coast outline ended in the perpen- 
dicular ice barrier. The vessels sailed along this wall 
for a distance of seventy to ninety miles without seeing 
any height rising above the elevated snow-covered plain. 
The height, moreover, precluded all possibility of getting 
a detailed view of the interior. On the evening of the 
day which had been wholly given up to the examination 
of this coast, a promontory was reached, from which the 
ice extended in a south-westerly direction, apparently far 
beyond the horizon, as was conjectured from the marked 
ice-blink in that quarter. D'Urville was confident that 
this ice barrier was connected with land, to which he gave 
the name of "The Clarie Coast" (Cote Clarie). Even 
on the following day he pursued his course along the 
barrier, but only to be stopped by actual pack-ice, the 
edge of which stretched away to the west and north-west. 
Without any further attempt to circumvent this, he turned 
north, satisfied with his results, which included numerous 
meteorological and magnetic observations — the latter 
having as far as possible been made on the ice. After a 



few days the last ice lay behind him. and he made for 
Hobart Town to recruit after the hardships of his polar 
voyage, returning to France in the same year, 1840. 

All that has been said of D'Urville's first attempt to 
penetrate the Antarctic regions may be repeated here. 
According to the conclusions arrived at from reading his 
own account, it appears that a determined leader, with a 
firm resolution from the very outset to make an important 
advance, would certainly have achieved greater results 
than D'Urville. It is greatly to be regretted that having 
the advantage of being a week earlier than Wilkes, he 

Discovery of the Clarie Coast, 26th January, 1840 (after Dumont d'Urville). 

should not have profited by the south winds observed by 
Wilkes in the beginning of February, for continuing his 
explorations along the coasts stretching to the west. It 
must, however, be taken into account that the health of 
his crews gave cause for anxiety and alarm, and compelled 
his return, during which he again lost a number of his 
men through illness and death. 

D'Urville claimed as his discovery the coast now 
known by the name of Wilkes Land. He was, however, 
not the first to see land in these regions, and must yield 


the palm to Balleny who also saw D'Urville's Cote Clarie, 
although he subsequently concluded it to be merely a 
cloud bank, while he certainly found Sabrina Land 
farther west. Of this fact D'Urville could not possibly 
have any knowledge, as Balleny did not return to 
Europe till the autumn of 1839, when his discoveries 
were made known, and the news could not have reached 
Tasmania and Australia by the time D'Urville and 
Wilkes started for the higher southern latitudes. Neither 
was Wilkes' attempt his first in these waters ; like 
D'Urville he had begun his exploration of Antarctic land 
and sea from the south of Cape Horn, and the chrono- 
logical order of discovery necessitates an account of his 
first Antarctic voyage. 

After an exploration of the coasts of Tierra del 
Fuego, Wilkes had assembled his squadron in Orange 
Harbour and divided his forces so that he himself on 
board the Porpoise, and the Sea Gull under Lieutenant 
Johnston were to explore the South Shetland Isles as 
well as Palmer and Trinity Land, while the Peacock 
under Captain Hudson, and the Flying Fish under 
Lieutenant Walker, set out for the waters to the west of 
Graham's Land and Alexander Land. Wilkes doubtless 
deprived himself of a great portion of the success he, and 
especially the two latter ships, might have achieved by 
postponing his voyage to the very end of February, 
1838. The voyage of the Porpoise and the Sea Gull 
contains no event of any importance. On the 1st of 
March Wilkes met the first icebergs, and shortly after- 
wards land came in sight, the small Riddley Isles, the 
out-posts of the northern point of King George Island, 
the easternmost of the actual South Shetland Isles. The 
next day, Bridgeman Island was passed in foggy weather. 
It was in a state of volcanic activity and the sulphurous 
fumes emitted were distinctly perceived as they were 
carried by the wind. On the 3rd of March, Louis- 



Philippe Land was seen, the highest summit being re- 
garded by Wilkes as identical with the Mount Hope of 
the seal-hunters, and consequently not to be claimed as 
a discovery of his own. Great masses of ice rendered a 
nearer approach to the land impossible, and Wilkes 
therefore missed seeing the Orleans channel, so that 
Louis- Philippe Land seemed to him to be the extreme 
east of Palmer Land. Without any further attempt to 

Charles Wilkes. 

get nearer land, Wilkes now returned to Orange Harbour, 
taking the channel between Elephant and Clarence 

According to Wilkes' directions, Johnson first made 
for Deception Island, where he remained a week, occu- 
pied with observations of a general nature and an ex- 
ploration of the island, at that time in a state of great 
fumarole activity. The Sea Gull again left these waters 


on the 17th of March, and also reached Orange Harbour 
after a stormy voyage pn the 22nd of March. 

The course of the other two vessels yielded com- 
paratively far more important results. In consequence 
of the bad weather they were separated soon after leav- 
ing Cape Horn, and as they did not again meet in the 
position agreed upon, Hudson, with the Peacock, sailed 
first south and then south-east. He encountered no ice- 
bergs till the nth of March, in latitude 64° 27' S. and 
longitude 84° W. ; after this they rapidly became more 
numerous and rendered progress very troublesome. On 
the 20th of March, on meridian 90° W., he had attained 
a latitude of 68° S. and came upon pack-ice, not far, 
therefore, from Bellingshausen's Peter I. Island, of which, 
however, he saw nothing on account of the thick fog. 
He now steered west, and on the 25th of March, when 
in longitude 97° 58' W. and latitude 68° S., to his great 
•delight he fell in with the Flying Fish. As fresh ice 
was beginning to form, and the days were growing per- 
ceptibly shorter, both ships started from here on the 
return voyage, the Peacock seeing the last iceberg in 
latitude 62° 30' S. and longitude &j° 40' W. 

During the voyage of the Peacock, Lieutenant Walker 
with the Flying Fish first cruised about for several days, 
after they were separated, in the position determined on 
for a rendezvous. Then he steered south with the object 
of finding the position in which Cook had reached his 
highest southern latitude on the 30th of January, 1774. On 
the 1 8th of March he came upon a heavy mass of pack- 
ice in latitude 67° 30' S. and longitude 105° W., on the 
2 1 st of March, surrounded by many icebergs and in sight 
of the pack-ice, he had penetrated to latitude 68° 41' S. 
and longitude 103° 34' W., and on the 23rd of March 
he succeeded in crossing the 70th parallel of southern 
latitude in longitude ioo° 16' W., only five degrees 
farther east than Cook. But what was even more im- 


portant than the latitude attained was the view on the 
further side of an extensive mass of pack-ice enclosing 
numerous icebergs, and of land, or at all events the 
appearance of land. Unfortunately it was impossible to 
examine further whether it actually was land. The 
advanced time of year, as already stated, favoured the 
formation of fresh ice, and there was not a moment to be 
lost in extricating the vessel from her position if the risk 
of being helplessly frozen in was not to be encountered. 
Fortunately the retreat was favoured by moonlight, so 
that Walker was not compelled to lose the lengthening 
nights while his ship lay to. On the 24th of March he 
had reached latitude 69° 6' S. and longitude 96° 50' W., 
and on the 25th of March the meeting with the Peacock 
occurred. The two vessels sailed together as far as 
latitude 6o° S., where they separated, the Flying Fish to 
make for Orange Harbour, the Peacock steering for the 
Chilian coast. Thus this advance to the south, spite 
of its short duration, and spite of the advanced season, 
attained important results by means of at least one of the 
ships. It had reached a high latitude, and had made it 
probable that land extended to the east of that seen by 
Cook. If we take into consideration that these ships, 
like those of D'Urville, were manned by crews having no 
experience of polar navigation, and that the vessels them- 
selves were in no wise prepared for it, we must admit 
that they were decidedly successful, especially as they 
were almost constantly opposed by mist and storm. 

After Wilkes had spent the year 1839 in valuable and 
varied research in the waters of the Pacific, he deter- 
mined to utilise the approaching southern summer of 
1839-40 for a second attempt with his squadron in 
Antarctic waters. As before said, he may have been 
prompted by news of the expedition to be made by 
Ross. He, like D'Urville, knew the plans of Ross, 
but he was not yet acquainted with the discoveries 




already made by Balleny, and was consequently justified, 
like D'Urville, in regarding himself as the discoverer of 
these regions. The four vessels started from Sydney on 
the 27th of December, 1839 — the Sea Gull had been 
wrecked in the summer of 1839 — touched Macquarie 
Island, and looked for Emerald Isle, which they could 
not find as indicated in latitude 57° 15' S., longitude 162° 
30' E. The Flying Fish, commanded by Lieutenant 
Pinkney, was separated from the other three soon after 
they set out ; while these, the Vincennes under Wilkes 
himself, the Peacock under Captain Hudson, and the 
Porpoise under Lieutenant Ringgold, met after a short 
separation at the edge of the pack-ice. Wilkes had met 
the first iceberg on the 15th of January, 1840, in latitude 
6i° 8' S. and longitude 162° 32' E., and on the evening 
of the following day, after a favourable run, had come 
upon the edge of the pack-ice in latitude 64° 11' S. and 
longitude 164° 30' E., and found it heavy and thickly 
studded with icebergs. Wilkes steered to the west 
along the edge of the ice in the Vincennes, and on the 
1 6th of January fell in with the Peacock and the Porpoise. 
It was here, in longitude 157° 56' E. and latitude 66° S. 
that, according to Wilkes' account, land was decidedly 
seen by all three ships. Driving snow and fog shut in 
the view towards the south during the next few days, 
during which an unbroken course to the west was held. 
On the 19th of January, the weather being good, land 
was most certainly seen lying S.S.E. and S.W. from the 
Vincennes in latitude 66° 20' S. and longitude 154° 30' E. 
On the same day land was seen to the south-west by the 
Peacock, also appearing, when first observed, high above 
an iceberg which lay on the line of sight. Wilkes gave 
the name of Peacock Bay to the bay apparently sweeping 

As the vessels sailed on to the west, vast masses of 
icebergs gradually took the place of field-ice almost 



entirely. After Wilkes had run past Peacock Bay, on the 
22nd of January, without being able to enter it — three 
days, therefore, after its discovery by Hudson — he, on 
the 23rd of January, in latitude 67° 5' S. and longitude 
1 47° 30' E., again saw land, and this time it lay to the 
east and west of a deep and broad indentation made by 
the sea ; he named this Disappointment Bay, and, con- 
tinuing his course across it, reached latitude 67° 5' S. 
and longitude 147° 30' W. The next few days were 

The Vincennes in Disappointment Bay (after Wilkes). 

very stormy, and progress through the numerous ice- 
bergs became very perilous ; moreover, the outlook was 
obstructed by snowstorms and dense fogs, so that land 
was not again seen till the 28th of January — the eastern 
portion of Adelie Land, discovered seven days previously 
by Dumont d'Urville. On the whole, Wilkes had hither- 
to constantly sailed in company with the Porpoise, from 
which also signs of land had been observed on the 22nd 
of January, as well as icebergs and portions of icebergs 


laden with fragments of rock and stone rubbish. On the 
23rd the two vessels came in sight of each other, also 
on the 27th, but from this date forwards the Porpoise 
hastened on to the west in advance of the Vincennes. 
Of the two other ships, the Peacock had an accident on 
the 23rd of January, in latitude 65° 55' S. and longitude 
1 5 1° 19' E., her rudder being injured by the thick ice. 
In consequence of this she was partly unable to obey 
the helm, and consequently came into collision with an 
iceberg, so that she was compelled to leave the polar 
seas without delay and make for Sydney, which was 
reached on the 17th of February. Pinkney, in the 
Flying Fish, had first seen icebergs on the 18th of 
January; on the 21st he had reached the edge of the 
pack-ice, in latitude 65° 2c/ S. and longitude 159/ 36' E., 
and then steered to the west, keeping, on the whole, to 
the north of the other ships. On the 23rd he, too, saw 
the land elevations observed by the others ; but for the 
rest saw no land whatever, not even by Peacock Bay, 
which he approached pretty closely on the 30th of Janu- 
ary. This is accounted for by a violent snowstorm 
which raged from the south-east on that date. As far 
as longitude 143° E. he held to the edge of the pack-ice ; 
then, however, he steered again to the north, and returned 
to Sydney by New Zealand. 

The other two ships meantime pursued their ardu- 
ous course with undiminished spirit. On the 30th of 
January Wilkes again saw land. He succeeded in 
breaking through the field-ice in a narrow channel and 
in reaching the open water, on which he approached the 
dark cliffs of Adelie Land, within half a mile of the very 
point where its first discoverer found the outlying coast 
islets. According to Wilkes' estimate the land here 
extended east and west to a distance of fully sixty 
nautical miles from his position in latitude 66° 45' S. 
and longitude 140° 3' E. Wilkes here gave the whole 


of the newly-discovered lands the name of the Ant- 
arctic Continent, and the bay in which he rode he called 
Piner's Bay. Several of the officers appeared to think 
they could see smoke rising from, the summits of the 
mountains, but Wilkes was of opinion this effect was 
produced merely by snowdrift. Wilkes' success in 
pushing forward to the very coast took place at the 
same time as the meeting of the Porpoise with the 
French vessels as already related. The Vincennes as 
well as the Porpoise now steered on to the west, being 
prevented by the violent snowstorm of the following 
day from sighting any land. On the other hand, the 
Porpoise, on the ist of February, and the Vincennes, 
on the 2nd, saw the vertical ice barrier already seen 
by D'Urville — Wilkes' observations making their posi- 
tion latitude 66° 12' S. and longitude 137° 2 E. On 
the 2nd of February Wilkes sailed the whole day 
in uninterrupted view of land, which he was able to 
approach for a short distance from the position in- 
dicated above. It was everywhere closed by the ice 
barrier, which Wilkes judged to be 160 to 200 feet high. 
On the 3rd of February a violent storm beat back the 
ship to the north ; on the 6th Wilkes was again in sight ot 
the ice-wall, and was able on the 7th clearly to see the 
elevated land beyond it, and to observe that both the ice- 
wall and the land made a sudden deviation to the south. 
This point, situated in latitude 64° 49/ S. and longitude 1 3 1° 
40' E., and named Cape Carr by Wilkes, is identical with 
the western extremity of D'Urville's Cote Clarie. 

The Vincennes attempted on the 8th of February to 
follow the course of the ice barrier beyond Cape Carr 
to the south, but was unsuccessful owing to the enormous 
number of icebergs. Land was lost sight of, and was 
not again seen till the evening, when it appeared in the 
far distance from latitude 65° 3' S. and longitude 127° 7' 
E., when it was named North's Highland. 


On the ioth of February, when the Vincennes was in 
latitude 65° 27' S. and longitude 122° 3 5' E. land (Tottens' 
Highland, identical with Balleny's Sabrina Land) again 
appeared, though not distinctly, and again on the 12th 
of February. A high snow-covered mountain chain was 
seen at a distance of sixteen to twenty-three miles, which 
was named Budd's High Land, and was situated in about 
latitude 65° 20' S. and longitude 112° 16' E. Many 
icebergs covered with fragments of stone were found on 
the edge of the pack-ice, and led Wilkes to hope that 
a landing might be effected, a hope that was frustrated 
by the completely closed pack-ice. The land was 
again distinctly seen on the following day from latitude 
65° Zl' S. and longitude 106° 40' E. at a distance 
of twelve to fourteen miles, and received the name of 
Knox's Highland. 

On the following day, February the 14th, the 
Vincennes found it possible to approach the land to 
within a distance of eight to nine miles. The day was 
fine and clear, and allowed of land being seen to a great 
distance from the ship's position in latitude 66° S. and 
longitude 106° 19/ E. According to Wilkes' estimate 
a coast of ninety miles in extent was visible, and the 
elevation, which was completely covered with snow, 
might approximately reach 2,800 feet. Several icebergs, 
again thickly covered with stones and broken rock, were 
observed in the neighbourhood of the coast ; and as a 
landing could not be effected, the largest accessible 
iceberg was visited for the twofold purpose of making 
magnetic observations on it, and of collecting specimens 
of the stones lying in immense masses upon it. In the 
middle of the part visited a small tarn of melted ice- 
water was discovered, from which the vessel was re- 
plenished with fresh water. On the 15th of February 
land was lost sight of, as the north-westerly drift of the 
pack-ice compelled Wilkes to take the same course. 


Nevertheless the rubble on the numerous icebergs still 
indicated that land could not be very far distant. The 
sea was remarkably smooth, and above all showed no 
signs of surf or breakers, so that Wilkes conjectured 
that a large mass of field-ice lay to the north of his 
course : indeed he hoped to be successful in reaching 
Enderby Land along the coast. In this he was, however, 
disappointed on the following day, when, surrounded 
by icebergs laden with ddbris he was compelled by the 
pack-ice to steer north. All these experiences were 
repeated on the 17th of February, when he apparently 
saw land from latitude 64° 1' S. and longitude 97° 3J r 
E., but this he terms "appearance of land" and not land 
positively seen. It lay towards the south-west, and 
seemed to extend towards the north. In spite of its 
doubtful appearance Wilkes named it Termination Land, 
and we shall return to the subject later on in discussing 
the advance of the Challenger. Wilkes continued his 
search for land in these regions for several days, in the 
midst of grave difficulty occasioned by the pack-ice ; but 
on the 20th of February, when in latitude 62° S. and 
longitude 102° E., he gave up the useless quest and 
steered back to the north, unhindered by the pack-ice 
which here took a westerly direction. He returned to 
Sydney Harbour on the nth of March. 

We now return to the Porpoise, which we left at the 
point where the meeting with Dumont d'Urville's vessels 
took place on the 30th of January. Two days later she 
also came upon the vertical wall of ice, which her com- 
mander, Ringgold, describes in the identical terms used 
by Wilkes and D'Urville. On the 2nd of February 
Ringgold v/as able to enter the bay on the west side of 
Cote Clarie and to press forward as far as latitude 
65° 24' S. and longitude 130° 36' E., without, however, 
coming upon land even there. A violent storm arising 
compelled him to turn north in order to avoid the region 


of the greater number of icebergs, and it was not till the 
ioth of February that he again crossed parallel 65 in 
longitude no° 54' E. On the next day, and subse- 
quently, numerous icebergs, with debris of rock and stone, 
were observed, but land itself did not again come in 
sight. Ringgold kept his course along the edge of the 
pack-ice up to the 14th of February, when he found himself 
on meridian ioo° E. ; then in latitude 63 S. approximately 
he again steered east, and once more attempted to push 
forward south on the 21st of February in longitude 121° 
30' E., but without any result beyond that of penetrating 
to latitude 65° 15' S. At length he too left the inhospi- 
table and stormy regions of Wilkes Land and returned 
to Sydney, seeing his last iceberg as far north as latitude 
55 S. and longitude 140° E. 

The results of this expedition are of great value, even 
after all allowance has been made for the achievements 
of Balleny and Dumont d'Urville. A succession of more 
or less connected groups of land had been seen — though 
it was premature to regard them as an Antarctic continent 
— over an extent which exceeds the length of the Ural 
Mountains, if moderately estimated at nearly 1,500 miles, 
and equals the length of the west coast of Greenland, 
from Cape Farewell to Upernivik. Those who are of 
opinion that only small scattered islands were seen, must 
not forget that Wilkes was greatly harassed by fogs and 
storms, that land could be seen only in really good 
weather, and that, given continuous fine weather and a 
clear sky, Wilkes would certainly have discovered more. 
In any event it is a mistake to regard the discoveries of 
Wilkes as apocryphal, as was done by Ross, or to omit 
placing them on the chart. The discoveries made a 
year previously by Balleny, and those simultaneously 
made by Dumont d'Urville, are telling proofs that the 
land seen by Wilkes was an actual fact. 

Before the expeditions described had set out for the 


south, the internal and external equipment of the two 
vessels destined for James Clark Ross's three years' 
expedition had already been vigorously taken in hand 
at Chatham. Preparations were completed by the end 
of September, and on the 30th of September, 1839, 
Ross, as leader of the expedition, left England from 
Margate Roads, on board the Erebus, of which he was 
commander. The commander of the Terror was 
Francis Crozier, who subsequently accompanied Sir 
John Franklin in the same vessel and lost his life in 
1845. Madeira, the Canaries, the Cape Verde Islands, St. 
Paul's Rocks (lying near the equator between Africa and 
South America), Trinidad (longitude 29° W., latitude 21° 
S.), and St. Helena were visited, and simultaneous mag- 
netic observations were made, i.e., at the same time as 
at all the observatories scattered over the earth. On 
the 17th of March, 1840, the expedition reached the 
Cape of Good Hope, and remained there till the 6th 
of April for the purpose of establishing a permanent 
magnetic observatory. On resuming their voyage, 
Prince Edward (or Marion) Island and Crozet Island 
were visited, without landing, and on the 6th of May 
Kerguelen Island came in sight. It was not till the 
15th of May that they made Christmas Harbour, dis- 
covered and described by the first to visit it, Kerguelen, 
and subsequently by Cook. Here the ships remained 
till the 20th of July, busily occupied with extensive mag- 
netic observations. 

At length, on the 16th of August, Hobart Town in 
Tasmania was reached, where Ross, according to his 
instructions, again erected and established a permanent 
magnetic observatory. Here, too, he was met by the news 
that he had been anticipated by Dumont d'Urville and by 
Wilkes in the exploration of the regions in which it was 
conjectured that the South Magnetic Pole was situated. 
Wilkes, indeed, conveyed to Ross the tracing of the 

James Clark Ross (after a steel engraving in the possession of Dr. G. Neumayer). 

[Face page 92. 


original chart, in which he had laid down the outlines 
of his " Antarctic Continent". Ross was naturally and 
justifiably surprised and annoyed to find his purposes 
thus forestalled by commanders who were well aware 
of the preparations for fitting out the expedition under 
his own command. Fortunately, much had been left 
in his instructions to his own judgment, and he there- 
fore resolved to select another passage southward, 
feeling that it was inconsistent with the traditions of 
British exploration to follow in the footsteps of other 

Ross therefore determined to penetrate to the south, 
far to the east of the course of these explorers, on 
meridian 170° E., the meridian on which Balleny two 
years previously had found the sea comparatively open in 
latitude 69° S. It was therefore to be expected that he 
would pass further south than had been possible to either 
D'Urville or Wilkes. On the 12th of November he 
stood down the Derwent River, the splendid harbour of 
Hobart Town, and first shaped his course for the smaller 
island groups off the coast of New Zealand for the pur- 
pose of making magnetic observations. On the 20th of 
November the Auckland Islands were reached, where 
the expedition stayed till the 12th of December, and on 
the 13th of December, Campbell Island, where a four 
days' stay was made. On the 24th of December the 60th 
parallel south was crossed on meridian 170° E., and on 
the 28th, in latitude 63 20' S. and longitude 174° E., the 
first iceberg came in sight, rapidly succeeded by numerous 
others of large size and with tabular summits. The ex- 
perienced Arctic navigator was struck by their uniformity, 
differing in this respect from the icebergs of the Arctic 
seas. Many bergs and much loose ice were passed, and 
on the 31st of December, when the ships were in latitude 
66° S. and longitude 1 7 1° 5c/ E., a strong ice-blink in 
the sky to the south pointed out the situation of the pack. 


Ross steered through the loose drift-ice to the edge of 
the heavy main pack on New Year's Day, 1840, crossing 
the Antarctic circle in his passage, but owing to the 
thick weather he was obliged to haul off without pene- 
trating into the pack-ice. Meantime, although this 
obstruction had been met with in a lower latitude than 
had been anticipated, this circumstance had no dispiriting 
effect on the explorers, for they had also expected to find 
it much more impenetrable than it proved to be. The 
next day a strong breeze with thick snow showers led 
Ross to stand off again, but after sailing one degree 
north, and nearly three to the east, he, on the 4th of 
January, determined to push the ships into the ice, 
which was rapidly drifting north. From the 4th to the 
9th of January the way was pursued through the pack 
without the clear sea being discernible. Early on the 
9th of January the open water was again reached in 
latitude 69° 15' S. and longitude 176° 15' E. When the 
fog, which had prevailed since the 8th, cleared off on 
the following day, no trace of ice was any longer to be 
seen from the masthead, and a latitude of 70° 23' S. on 
meridian 174° 5c/ E. was attained. 

In these circumstances Ross conjectured that the 
land seen by Wilkes and Dumont d'Urville consisted 
only of small islands, and that he would be in a position 
to approach the magnetic pole by sea. The dip had 
already indicated that this lay, not in the place predicted 
by the calculations of Gauss, but considerably further 

Ross now shaped his course south-west, directly for 
the magnetic pole ; but that very evening a strong 
" land-blink " appeared, and this in the morning proved 
to be a lofty mountain chain covered with perennial snow. 
At his approach the peaks seemed to open out and 
extend to the right and left across the whole horizon, 
and it seems that the whole range had actually been 


previously seen by means of the refraction of light at 
the remarkable distance of a hundred nautical miles. 
On the evening of the 9th of January the ships had 
approached to within two and a half miles of the shore, 
which was lined by heavy pack-ice. The summits of 
the mountain chain rose to elevations of from seven 
to ten thousand feet above sea-level : the highest, a 
conical peak, was named Mount Sabine, and the whole 
chain, running south-east and north-west, was named 
Admiralty Range. The mountains were completely 
covered with ice and snow, and everywhere gigantic 
glaciers filled the intervening valleys, projecting many 
miles into the sea, and ending in abrupt, perpendicular 
ice cliffs. A promontory below Mount Sabine, partly 
free from snow, was named Cape Adare, and from this 
projection the land made a sudden bend to the south. 
The magnetic dip, i.e., the angle that the perpendicu- 
larly balanced needle makes with the horizon, had now 
increased to &J°, according to which the magnetic pole 
was placed in latitude 76° S. and longitude 145° 20' E. 

Ross still had hopes of circumnavigating the land 
on the south and thus reaching the pole, and with this 
object he resolved to steer along the east coast towards 
the south. On this course he found a number of small 
islands of volcanic origin ; and on one of these, in latitude 
yi° 56' S. and longitude 17 1° 7' E., he landed on the 
1 2th of January, naming it Possession Island. During 
the four succeeding days the vessels were twice compelled 
by violent snowstorms to stand off towards the east 
into the open sea, so as to avoid the perils of the shore 
and the pack-ice. The summits of the lofty mountain 
chain, here estimated at upwards of 10,000 feet high, 
remained almost constantly in sight, and even at a dis- 
tance of 140 miles were clearly recognisable, so that 
many, not accustomed to estimating distances from land, 
would have thought themselves only thirty or forty miles 



off. In the intervals of bright sunshine the land pre- 
sented a wonderful appearance, the ice-girt heights stand- 
ing out in sharp contrast high above the rolling clouds. 
On the 20th and 21st of January the ships were in the 
neighbourhood of Coulman Island, and land, with lofty 
elevations, was again seen far to the south south-west. 
The loftiest mountain, far exceeding all others in the 
south polar regions in height, was named Mount Mel- 
bourne. Its outlines bore a great resemblance to those 

■ " ■■ ■■ 

Mount Minto and Mount Adam (after Ross). 

of Mount Etna, though its elevation exceeds that of 
the Sicilian volcano. A further progress south caused 
the land to the west to gradually disappear, for an ex- 
tremely broad belt of ice made the approach along the 
coast and the pack-ice most undesirable. Ross now 
steered due south, crossing the highest latitude attained 
by Weddell on the 22nd of January, and on the 26th 
land again came in sight. On the following day this 


was discovered to be an isolated island, small but elevated, 
and to this the name of Franklin Island was given. A 
perilous landing was effected, and the position found to 
be latitude 76° 8' S. and longitude 168° 12 E. 

On further progress south, land appeared in the same 
direction, in the radiance of the midnight sun, seemingly 
consisting of a number of small islands. Meanwhile the 
further the ships advanced the higher the apparent 
islands rose on the horizon, and it was soon evident that 
they were the summits of lofty mountains forming a coast 
which seemed to extend east and west. These summits 
were cone-shaped, and although it was first supposed that 
the summit of one was surrounded by masses of snow- 
drift, it was soon seen that these clouds consisted of 
smoke, ejected at irregular intervals by the mountain 
itself, and that the totally unexpected spectacle of an 
active volcano presented itself in these high latitudes. 
The reflection of the lava was distinctly seen over the 
crater, and some of the officers even thought they saw 
streams of lava proceeding from the summit. This 
volcano was named Mount Erebus, and its height was 
estimated at 12,400 feet, while a smaller one, Mount 
Terror, lying to the east, 10,900 feet high, appeared to 
be no longer active ; its sides, however, were more free 
from snow than those of its greater neighbour. To the 
north of Mount Erebus lay a small, elevated, round 
island named Beaufort Island, while a promontory at its 
foot was called Cape Bird, and another at the foot of 
Mount Terror, Cape Crozier. 

It had been remarked, at the very first approach to 
land, that an apparently low white line extending from 
the eastern point of Mount Terror was continued east- 
wards till it was lost to the eye on the horizon. On 
nearer approach this proved to be a perfectly perpendicular 
cliff of ice, between 150 and 200 feet above sea-level, 
perfectly flat and level at the top, and without fissure or 



promontory on its seaward face. In the distance beyond, 
only the summit of a lofty range of mountains could be 
seen, apparently extending southward as far as latitude 
79° S., Cape Crozier being situated in latitude yj° 25' S., 
longitude 169° 10' E. This range received the name 
of the Parry Mountains. On account of the height of 
this ice cliff it was impossible to determine what lay be- 
yond it, and Ross was obliged to content himself with 
sailing along the lofty barrier. Progress south was 

Cape Crozier and Mount Terror (after Ross). 

necessarily out of the question ; indeed, Ross says that he 
might as well have tried to sail through .the cliffs of Dover 
as southward through the icy mass, which in height and 
conformation resembles them. From the 28th of January 
onwards Ross altered his course to the eastward ; on the 
next day 100 nautical miles' run along the vertical ice 
cliff had brought no change in its appearance or direction. 
Here Ross found it advisable to increase his distance 


from the barrier, as with a light wind the northerly swell 
drifted the vessels gradually towards it. Before long, 
snow showers set in, continuing through the following 
day, and, as there seemed no prospect of progress towards 
the south-east along the ice barrier, Ross was obliged to 
steer north-east, so as to pass over as great an extent of 
space as possible in the open sea with the steady wind. 
On the 31st of January pack-ice was encountered, and the 
ships entered it and penetrated it for a distance of twelve 
or thirteen miles, but, as it grew closer and the wind 
stronger, Ross again stood back to the westward for the 
night in the open sea. On the following day the ice 
was again penetrated to the southward, and on the 2nd of 
February the ice was again in sight without any change 
whatever in its appearance. A near approach was, how- 
ever, quite impracticable owing to the heavy outlying 

Since Ross was of opinion that some time must 
still elapse before the ice seen to the north-west of 
Mount Erebus and Mount Terror would break up and clear 
away north, he determined, after consulting with Captain 
Crozier, to trace the course of the great barrier for some 
distance towards the east, and then to renew the attempt 
to reach the magnetic pole by sea. On this day, the 2nd 
of February, the vessels reached the southernmost point 
attained during the southern summer of 1 840-1 in latitude 
78° 4/ S., and about longitude 173° 2c/ W. The ice barrier 
was here about 125 feet high, and extended as far as 
eye could see to the east and west ; the face of it was 
probably in latitude j&° 15' S. The course east- 
wards was, therefore, continued, and on the 5th of 
February a W. longitude of nearly 167 was reached in 
latitude JJ° 18' S., but the ice was found so closely 
packed that the vessels could make no way, and had 
some difficulty in extricating themselves towards the 
west. As soon as this was accomplished Ross steered 


a southerly course along the edge of the pack-ice, on the 
7th and 8th of February, passing a berg with a large rock 
frozen in, and at midnight the ships were again near the 
ice barrier. Here they saw an indentation towards the 
east — the only bay worth naming, and, as the heavy 
pack-ice lay at some distance to the north, it was possible 
to approach the ice cliffs within a quarter of a mile. 
These here showed a very striking conformation, for 
while the height of the cliffs was 150 feet, the projecting 
peninsula of ice ended in a cape 170 feet high, and the 
connecting isthmus between the two elevations attained 
only a height of scarcely fifty feet. This lower portion, 
therefore, afforded a favourable opportunity of viewing 
the upper surface of the enormous mass of ice from the 
mastheads, and it appeared perfectly level and smooth. 
From every projecting point of the ice-cliffs gigantic 
icicles depended, a proof that it occasionally thaws, 
which would not suggest itself with a midday mid- 
summer temperature of only i4°F. In consequence of this 
low temperature and the sheltered position, young ice 
formed so rapidly that the ships were in danger of being 
enclosed. Fortunately, the breeze, aided by the strenu- 
ous exertions of the crews in breaking up the ice, was 
strong enough to enable the ships to regain a freer 
space. Scarcely had this been accomplished, when the 
west wind set in ; had this occurred half an hour earlier, 
the expedition, wedged in between the barrier and the 
pack-ice, would have been enclosed and compelled to 
winter there. 

The ships now took a course to the northward until 
latitude 76° S. was reached. Their passage was greatly 
obstructed by pack-ice and young ice, while the severe 
cold of the north wind quickly froze and closed all 
openings and channels in the pack, driving it southwards. 
A violent snowstorm set in on the 12th, during which 
the ships barely weathered an extensive chain of very 


large icebergs, probably aground. The thick falling 
snow prevented their seeing any distance, and the waves 
moreover, as they broke over the ships, froze as they fell 
on the decks and rigging, and covered all, even the 
men's clothing, with a thick coating of ice. When on 
the 13th of February the weather cleared, and it became 
evident that every further examination of the pack-ice 
was fruitless, Ross determined to make one more attempt 
to reach the magnetic pole, and to seek a harbour in 
which to pass the winter. Nearly three weeks had 
elapsed since they had come nearest to the pole at 
Franklin Island, and it seemed reasonable to hope that 
the pack-ice to the N. and N.W. of Mount Erebus had 
in the main drifted off to the north. On the 16th of 
February the great volcano again came in sight, and 
the weather growing very clear it was evident that 
Erebus and Terror were connected with the main land 
(Victoria Land), and were not on islands, as had at first 
been conjectured. To the west of Cape Bird, a deep 
bight extended to the west, the shores of which could 
be distinctly traced connecting Mount Erebus with the 
westernmost point of Victoria Land reached by the ships 
in latitude 76° 12' S. and longitude 164° E. Ross had 
attempted to penetrate the tough, newly-formed ice 
coloured by an infinite number of rust-brown diatoms, 
in an effort to reach the west side of this bight, when 
he came upon such heavy closely-packed ice as to cause 
him to desist when within ten or twelve nautical miles of 
the low coast. This involved their giving up at the same 
time the anticipated exploration of a low point of land 
with an islet off it, which seemed likely to afford a 
suitable harbour for wintering in. There was no pros- 
pect at that advanced season that any more of the land 
ice would break away, and consequently no chance of 
reaching the coast and finding a secure refuge for 
wintering in. Ross therefore relinquished the attempt 


to approach nearer to the magnetic pole, which he 
calculated was only 160 nautical miles distant, as the 
magnetic dip was SS° 4c/. The cape with the islet off 
it, which had seemed suitable for winter quarters, received 
the name of Cape Gauss. 

At a great distance from the low coast line, a range 
of mountains was seen. These were of great elevation, 
and evidently the connecting range between Mount 
Melbourne and Mount Erebus. They received the 
name of Prince Albert Mountains, in honour of the 
Prince Consort, while the whole extensive tract of 
country had already been called Queen Victoria Land. 
There was nothing left but to retrace their way through 
the pack and the young ice into the open, and the 
success of the laborious work seemed very problematical, 
for the young ice had increased in thickness very fast. 
When the breeze freshened, the vessels were able to 
make some way ; at other times the boats were lowered 
and the young ice broken by rolling them, for the surface 
was not strong enough to support a party of men to saw 
a passage for the ships. In this way they at length 
emerged into clear water on the morning of the 19th 
of February, and hastened northward, keeping, as far as 
possible, near the edge of the ice. This already extended 
so far to the east that the coast line between Cape 
Gauss and Mount Melbourne, or more correctly Cape 
Washington, entirely disappeared below the horizon, 
while the chain of the Prince Albert Mountains re- 
mained constantly in sight far away in the west. Near 
the edge of the pack-ice either an island or a large berg, 
covered with rock and ddbris, was passed, and named 
Doubtful Island, as it was impossible to ascertain its 
true character. Even Mount Erebus remained in sight 
clearly above the horizon, in spite of its being 150 nauti- 
cal miles distant, and while Mount Melbourne was again 
in view. To the north of this lofty summit the pack 


formed a much narrower belt off the coast, so that it was 
possible to approach the land much nearer than in January. 
A passage between the land and Coulman Island was 
nevertheless not practicable, and as Ross resolved to 
make an attempt to land at Cape Adare, and the 
coast to the north of Coulman Island had been examined 
on his passage south, he stood towards the cape without 
delay. But even here a near approach was impossible, 
because a dense body of ice already extended to some 
distance from the shore, and Ross therefore determined 
to follow the coast along the Admiralty Range to the north- 
west as far as was possible. In this they were success- 
ful as far as the extreme point named Cape North, from 
which the land appears to trend to the south-west. The 
closed young ice here intercepted further progress to the 
westward, and the coast by Cape North was once more 
carefully examined in the hope of finding a suitable har- 
bour for the ships to winter in. In this hope they were 
disappointed, for the indentations of the coast were 
everywhere completely filled with glaciers, and the coast 
consisted of perpendicular ice cliffs, varying from two to 
five hundred feet high, and before them a chain of 
stranded icebergs of great extent. Ross, however, spent 
several days narrowly examining this northern portion 
of Victoria Land, and in clear weather, on the 24th of 
February, he was so fortunate a^ to see that, although 
the land extends from Cape North in a south-westerly 
direction, a barrier of ice stretches due west from the 
cape to the horizon, corresponding in appearance to 
the formidable barrier to the east of Mount Terror. 

After the relations of the north coast of Victoria 
Land had thus been made plain, the leader of the expedi- 
tion resolved to steer northwards, and in this way to 
determine whether any land lay between Balleny Isles 
and Cape North. On the evening of the 28th of Febru- 
ary Victoria Land sank below the horizon at a distance 


of eighty miles, and on the following night the Aurora 
Australis was seen for the first time On the 2nd of 
March, land was seen to the W.N.W., apparently two 
islands, which Ross named Russell Peak and Smith 
Island. An attempt was made to approach them, but 
the ice was so dense that the mere attempt was attended 
with difficulty and danger, and a speedy retreat was effected. 
On the 3rd of March, the land was nearly veiled by 
clouds, but it reappeared quite distinctly in the S.W. and 
was easily recognised, by the peculiar form of Russell Peak, 
as the land previously seen ; from this position it was 
evident that there were three islands ; and the third was 
named Frances Island. Ross found that the position of 
the group was approximately latitude 67° 28' S. and 
longitude 165 30' E., and this circumstance leads to the 
conjecture that these were possibly the Balleny Islands, 
even although the position given by Balleny varies con- 
siderably from that of Ross. The weather was too bad 
and the vessels too far distant from the land to allow of 
Ross making an accurate and satisfactory observation, 
but he was certainly of opinion that the two groups were 
close together. After this sight of land he crossed the 
Antarctic circle, steering west in order to come upon the 
eastern extremity of the land laid down in the chart of the 
" Antarctic Continent " sent him by Wilkes. The 5th of 
March was a splendidly clear day, and land of any elevation 
could have been seen at a distance of seventy nautical 
miles, but nowhere was anything to be seen, so that Ross 
concluded that Wilkes and his men, being novices in 
polar regions, had been deceived by the appearance of a 
bank of clouds. This opinion seemed confirmed on the 
following day, when far to the S.S.W. of Mount Erebus, 
an indication of land was seen, exactly in the direction of 
the Balleny Isles, now distant seventy or eighty nautical 
miles, and besides this the vessels actually sailed over 
the place where Wilkes had laid down land in his chart. 


Not content with this investigation, Ross was de- 
termined to spend the rest of the summer, or rather 
the short autumn of the south polar regions, by making 
an approach to the place where, according to Gauss, 
the South Magnetic Pole lay. At the same time, he 
had not the slightest hope of reaching the spot itself, 
for the lateness of the season and the condition of the 
ice rendered the attempt impracticable. For this pur- 
pose he steered west and south-west as far as meridian 
1 46° E., continuous magnetic observations being made. 
The highest latitude attained was 65° io' S. on meridian 
1 44° 56' E. After the line of no variation had been 
determined in these higher latitudes, the vessels shaped 
their course for Hobart Town, which was safely reached 
on the 6th of April. As far north as latitude 54° S. the 
nights had been illuminated by splendid displays of 
the Aurora Australis, and the last iceberg was seen in 
latitude 53° $d S. 

The first task Ross set himself on his arrival in 
Hobart Town was to refit and prepare his vessels. On 
examination it was found that they had sustained scarcely 
any injury during their long and arduous polar voyage. 
It was also found that their stores and provisions of 
every kind were in good preservation, and that nothing 
had suffered from the great differences of climate passed 
through, a proof of the care and thoroughness with which 
the equipment and provisioning of the expedition had 
been carried out. Best of all, the voyage had been free 
from sickness or casualty of any kind, and every in- 
dividual of both ships returned in perfect health and 
safety, thanks to the unceasing care of their commander. 
Their stay in Hobart Town lasted till the 7th of July, the 
time being filled up with eager scientific examination of 
the island in many directions ; among others, Ross was 
occupied with fixing a permanent mark for showing the 
mean level of the ocean, in accordance with suggestions 


made by Alexander v. Humboldt. Leaving Hobart on 
the 7th of July, the ships reached Sydney on the 14th. 
Their stay here till the 5th of August was principally 
occupied with simultaneous magnetic term observations. 
To complete his task, Ross then went to New Zealand, 
where he lay in the Bay of Islands, near the northern 
end of the northern island, from the 17th of August to 
the 23rd of November, waiting here until the season 
should be sufficiently advanced for a fresh start for the 
high southern latitudes. On the date named, the ships 
weighed anchor, and on the 30th of November sighted 
Chatham, or Warekauri, Island, though they were unable 
to land owing to the stormy weather. On the 16th of 
December they met with their first icebergs in latitude 
58° S. and longitude 147° W., five degrees further north 
than the previous summer, but decidedly further south 
than bergs were first encountered by Cook and Biscoe in 
these regions. Ross had kept to an eastward course 
thus far on account of his terrestro-magnetic observations, 
but on reaching the meridian of 146° W. he determined to 
change his course to due south. He expected to dis- 
cover land from the low latitude in which the first 
icebergs were met, and, in any event, to reach the eastern 
point of the great ice barrier, so as to resume his explora- 
tions of the previous summer where they had been 
interrupted. The circumstance that but few icebergs 
were seen during the day after their first appearance, 
and that the vessels attained a. latitude of 6i° 3' S. on 
meridian 146° 3' W., caused Ross to hope that the pro- 
gress south would be rapid. On the evening of the same 
day, however, a strong ice-blink appeared in the sky to the 
south-east, and announced the neighbourhood of pack-ice, 
and early on the next morning, the 17th of December, 
the main pack was reached. As the edge seemed pretty 
open Ross at once ran into the pack, but after penetrating 
about thirty nautical miles, the ice became so heavy that 


further progress became impossible, and he was compelled 
to steer to the south-west. The struggle with the ice, 
which was constantly drifting north, continued till the 2nd 
of February, 1842, when in latitude 67° 29/ S. and longi- 
tude 1 59° i' W. the vessels at length emerged into an 
open sea. They had been compelled to make their way 
step by step for forty-eight days in the face of appalling 
difficulty and with ceaseless labour, and while thus en- 
gaged in forcing a passage south they were constantly 
carried northward by the pack. Several times, while in 
the close pack-ice and surrounded by icebergs in addition, 
they weathered violent gales, in one of which, on the 19th 
of January, 1842, both ships suffered severely, especially 
the Terror. Her rudder was completely destroyed, and 
it was, therefore, necessary to fit a spare rudder with in- 
calculable exertion while she lay in the midst of the ice. 

While the ships themselves had advanced only 375. 
miles in the fifty-six days during which they were involved 
in the pack-ice, Ross estimated the breadth of the belt of 
pack-ice which had drifted past northwards at no less than 
1 ,000 nautical miles. The greatest disadvantage connected 
with the tedious crossing of this enormous belt of pack- 
ice arose from the great loss of time, for while Ross in the 
previous year had reached as far as the eastern extreme 
of the great ice barrier by the 2nd of February, he had 
this year not even reached the 68th degree of S. latitude, 
and it therefore became imperative to press forward 
south, lest the summer season should be altogether lost. 
Meanwhile it was as yet impossible to keep to a due 
southerly course, as the pack edge still trended south- 
west. It was not till the 16th of February that the ex- 
treme western point of the pack was rounded in latitude 
75° 6' S. and longitude 172° 56' E., enabling the ships to 
steer south-east, and on the 22nd of February, shortly 
before midnight, the great ice barrier again came in sight. 
No stay near it could, however, be made ; the young ice 


was rapidly thickening- again and the belt of broken frag- 
ments of pack and icebergs was closely cemented together 
in an impenetrable mass at the foot of the ice barrier. In 
the course of the 23rd they were within one and a half 
nautical miles from the face of the barrier, surrounded by 
icebergs and heavy pieces of ice covered with stones, 
raising the hope that land would soon be seen. The 
ice barrier itself was here distinctly different in appear- 
ance from that observed the previous year farther west. 
Its outlines were more broken and full of indentations, 
the elevation, too, was different from that previously 
noted. It was found that the height was here only 105 
feet above the sea, and this decreased towards the east 
to eighty feet, though it rose again farther east. The 
southernmost point reached by the vessels, a point that 
has remained the highest southern point of the earth 
attained to this day, was latitude J&° io' S. and longitude 
161 27' W., while the face of the ice cliff lay one minute 
further south. 

Ross attempted to penetrate along the barrier to the 
eastward, and had the satisfaction of getting a view of 
the surface when he came to the lower part of the face. 
It was seen that it gradually rose to the south till it 
presented the appearance of lofty snow-covered mountain 
ranges. Although Ross and his companions were fully 
persuaded that they saw elevated land, he put it down 
only as "an appearance of land," lest some subsequent 
navigator should prove him to have been mistaken. 
From this point, however, all further progress to the east 
of the barrier had to be relinquished, for it here diverged 
to the north-east and the main pack pressed against it, 
and an immediate return was decided upon, especially as 
the winter was already setting in, with great severity at 
these high latitudes. Ross therefore sailed back north- 
wards, and it was soon evident that the south-western edge 
of the pack-ice was still extending from south-east to 


north-west, though in the higher latitudes it was situated 
considerably farther east than in the middle of the month 
on the voyage south. As it was, the westernmost point 
of the pack reached longitude i8o° W. in latitude 70° S. 

After this point had been reached Ross steered 
directly northward, for he had resolved to approach 
Cape Horn along the 6o° parallel, if possible, and then 
to round it and make for the Falkland Islands with the 
object of wintering there. This course had the ad- 
vantage of being the shortest, and of affording Ross the 
opportunity of completing his magnetic observations in 
high latitudes. On the 6th of March the Antarctic circle 
was recrossed on meridian 170° W., after a period of 
sixty-four days within it, a period that must be regarded 
as exhibiting one of the most heroic and difficult achieve- 
ments in the whole history of south polar navigation. 
Three days later the 60th parallel of southern latitude 
had been ne f arly reached on meridian 156° W., and as 
little or no ice had been seen for some days, Ross, 
thinking the vessels safe, and anxious to gain time r 
ventured upon running all night. The whole expedi- 
tion came within an ace of perishing in consequence 
of this sense , of security, for during the night, from the 
1 2th to the 13th of March, just as Ross, warned by 
small driving blocks of ice,, had made every arrangement 
for rounding to during the night, a large iceberg was 
seen through the heavy snow shower ahead of the Erebus 
and close to it. ,The vessel was immediately turned, 
but the next moment it was seen that a collision with 
the Terror was unavoidable. The Erebus lost her 
bowsprit and topmast through the shock, and the two 
ships, entangled by their rigging, were violently dashed 
against each other in the huge breakers raging and 
foaming against the berg. At length the Terror got 
clear, and finally the Erebus was extricated, by an ex- 
tremely hazardous expedient, from her perilous situation T 


where her yard-arms were actually striking the face of 
the iceberg. Scarcely had this been accomplished when 
a second berg was seen to be quite close, but by another 
skilful manoeuvre the ship was brought through the 
channel between the two bergs, and under their lee, 
where the Terror had already rounded to in safety. 
At daybreak it appeared that the ships had safely es- 
caped through the only opening in a chain of icebergs 
extending right across the horizon. After this perilous 
adventure the two vessels steered on eastwards with 
favourable winds and without any important event, 
passed Cape Horn on the 2nd of April, and on the 
6th of April reached the Falkland Isles. Here they 
cast anchor in Berkeley Sound before Port Louis, which 
was at that time the principal settlement in the group 
of islands. 

The five months' stay in the Falkland Isles came 

to an end on the 8th of September. It had been 

utilised for making terrestro-magnetic observations, and 

as Ross wished to obtain further observations near Cape 

Horn, the vessels steered on this course as their first 

destination. On the 19th of September Cape Horn 

came in sight, and on the evening of that day the ships 

anchored in St. Martin's Cove, a favourable harbour 

in Hermito Island. After completing their magnetic 

labours, and marking the level of the sea, St. Martin's 

Cove was left on the 7th of November for the Falkland 

Islands, which were reached on the 13th of November, 

and a stay of a month entered upon. After the usual 

scientific observations had been made, and the mean 

level of the sea fixed by a mark, the third voyage to 

the high southern latitudes was begun on the 17th of 

December. For this voyage Ross had arranged a 

double, or rather an alternative, plan. He intended 

first to attempt a southern course on meridian 55° W., 

/or he hoped in this manner to reach the probable south- 


eastern continuation of Louis-Philippe Land, where the 
open water between the coast and the pack-ice might 
enable him to penetrate still further to the south or 
south-east. If this proved impracticable he determined 
to reach the south by following Weddell's track further 
east. Steering towards Clarence Island, which could 
not be seen owing to the thick weather, the first iceberg 
came in sight in latitude 6i° S. and longitude 52° 10' 
W. On the following day the ships were surrounded 
by numerous icebergs, and the same afternoon they 
came upon the edge of the pack-ice in latitude 62° 3c/ 
S. and longitude 52° W. The pack appeared tolerably 
open, but, as before stated, Ross was desirous of reach- 
ing the open water on the coast without delay, and he 
felt obliged to avoid the danger of getting the vessels 
beset in the pack-ice by steering along its edge to the 
west. On this course the icebergs everywhere were for 
the first time seen thawing and in a state of rapid dis- 
solution, a process that had not been observed on the 
two previous voyages. On the 28th of December the 
east coast of Joinville Land, not previously seen, came 
in sight. An outlying small but lofty islet was named 
Etna Islet from its striking resemblance to the Sicilian 
volcano. The land was mostly covered with ice and 
snow, and in one place a huge glacier, several nautical 
miles in breadth, descended to the sea from a height 
of 1,200 feet, ending in a vertical cliff 100 feet in height. 
Further south a number of low, rocky islets were en- 
countered off the coast, the Danger Islets, of which the 
southernmost, discovered on the 29th of December, and 
about 600 feet high, received the name of Darwin Islet. 

Ross was desirous of avoiding these dangerous islets 
and cliffs, as well as a vast number of stranded icebergs 
in their immediate vicinity, but the heavy pack-ice very 
soon compelled him to seek the coast. On the next day 
it was seen that the southern extreme of Joinville Island 


is situated in latitude 63° 30' S., and that the coast ex- 
tended thence to the westward. A wide gulf opened 
in this direction, surrounded by ice and snow-covered 
land on the north, west, and south-west. To the north 
rose Mount Percy, the highest summit on Joinville 
Land, with an elevation of 3,700 feet above sea-level. 
To the north-west it appeared that there was a channel 
between Joinville Island and Louis-Philippe Land. It 
was impossible on account of the ice to penetrate into 
the wide bay that had been named Erebus and Terror 
Gulf, and thus Ross had to content himself with steering* 
along the margin of the ice to the south-west. 

On the 1 st of January, 1843, the ships were in 
latitude 64° 14' S. and longitude 55° 54' W., where a 
beautiful view of the land lying to the south and south- 
west was obtained in fine, clear weather. To the west 
towered Mount Haddington, 7,000 feet high, the highest 
summit of this region, and like nearly all the others of 
volcanic origin. Not far from its foot rises a precipitous 
island, named Cockburn Island, with a height of 2,760 
feet, and a diameter of barely twice that measurement. 
For five days the vessels cruised in this region, now sur- 
rounded by ice, now deprived of all outlook by dense 
fog. At length on the 6th of January Ross landed on 
Cockburn Island, and took formal possession of it in the 
usual manner. The island was found perfectly clear of 
snow, and to be of volcanic formation ; and the assistant 
surgeon of the Erebus (subsequently the renowned 
botanist, Dr. Hooker) was able to collect nineteen 
species of plants growing there. It lies at the entrance 
to a deep bay, formed by Mount Haddington in the 
west, and Seymour Island and Snowhill (about 2,000 
feet high) in the east. After sailing round the latter, 
it was found that Mount Haddington forms the southern 
extremity of Louis-Philippe Land, united to Snowhill 
by an enormous mass of glacier ice. The whole western 


and southern side of Snowhill Island was enclosed by a 
low belt of ice, and in the neighbourhood of the land, 
evidently stranded, were clustered gigantic icebergs, 
some from four to five nautical miles in diameter, and 
200 feet high. From these enormous dimensions Ross 
concluded that they must have come away further south 
from some loftier barrier than any he had yet seen in 
this reigon of Antarctic country. A further advance along 
the south coast of Snowhill and Louis-Philippe Land was 
found to be quite impossible, for fixed land-ice extended 
along the coast, and to the west, south and south-east, 
as far as eye could see. A struggle to penetrate the 
pack to the east led to the ships being beset by the close 
pack from the 9th of January till the 4th of February. 
Moreover, in its northward drift, the pressure of the main 
pack against the land was very great, and the formation 
of young ice in the water previously open was very rapid,, 
rendering it quite unnavigable. The ships were fre- 
quently exposed to very severe ice pressure, and it was 
not till the 4th of February that they emerged into open 
water in latitude 64° S. and longitude 54° W. 

The attempt to penetrate southwards close to the 
land, and in this way to make new discoveries, had, 
therefore, to be finally relinquished, and Ross was thrown 
back on the alternative plan he had made for this third 
Antarctic voyage, that of following Weddell's course. He 
therefore beat to the eastward along the pack edge, 
which lay on the whole between 64° and 65° of S. 
latitude; on the 12th of February land was apparently 
seen in latitude 65° ic/ S. and longitude 48° 30' W., but 
it seems to have been very doubtful, since Ross does 
not mention it in the account of his voyages, and has 
only entered it on his chart. On the 14th of February, 
in latitude 65° 13' S. and longitude 40° 50' W., Weddell's 
return track was crossed, but the ships were unable to 
penetrate the dense, heavy pack ; they therefore con- 


tinued their progress along the edge to the north-east, 
until the northern extremity was reached on the 22nd of 
February, in latitude 6i° 3c/ S. and longitude 22° 30' 
W. Soon after it became possible to press forward to 
the south, and after Ross had entered the Antarctic circle 
on the 1 st of March, in longitude 8° W., in a com- 
paratively open sea, he again, on the 5th, met with the 
heavy pack, in which the holes and channels were already 
covered with newly-formed ice. The highest latitude he 
succeeded in reaching was 71° 30' S. in longitude 15° 
W., not quite three degrees short of the latitude achieved 
by Weddell 1 8° farther west, but two degrees higher than 
the point reached by Bellingshausen 13° farther east. 
The advanced season and the unfavourable condition of 
the ice imperatively demanded an immediate return north, 
and after the ships had weathered another furious storm, 
on the edge of the pack on the 6th and 7th of March, the 
Antarctic circle was recrossed for the last time on the 1 1 th 
of March. Ross had determined to ascertain accurately 
the exact position of Bouvet Island on his return voyage 
to the Cape of Good Hope, and consequently held a 
N.N.E. course, but all his efforts to find it remained as 
unsuccessful as those of Cook before him. The last 
iceberg was seen on the 25th of March in latitude 47° 
40' S. and longitude io° 51' E., and on the 4th of April 
the ships anchored in Simon's Bay. They left again 
on the 30th of April, and after touching at St. Helena, 
Ascension, and Rio de Janeiro, and staying some days in 
each, the expedition reached Folkestone on the 2nd of 
September, 1843, after an absence of nearly four years. 
The vessels and their crews were in a perfectly sound 
and satisfactory condition, and of the 152 men who had 
started only one did not return. This was the quarter- 
master of the Erebus, who fell overboard and was 
drowned during a gale off Cape Horn the previous year. 
The voyage of James Clark Ross, of which a short 


account has thus been given, must be regarded as one 
of the most brilliant and famous of all voyages of dis- 
covery that have ever been made. It is certainly remark- 
able that, as compared with other travels and voyages, 
that of Ross should be so much less universally popular. 
While the achievements of such men as Barth, Nachtigall, 
Livingstone, Stanley, Wissmann, in Africa, and in higher 
latitudes, to name only a few, Parry, Franklin, Kane, 
Weiprecht and Payer, and Nansen, have excited the 
greatest and most widely-spread enthusiasm and interest, 
the voyages of the younger Ross in the Antarctic regions 
have never attained the wide appreciation they deserve, 
however high the estimation in which they have always 
been held by the scientist. The reason of this is, 
doubtless, to be found in the fact that for the public 
the greatest element of interest is invariably to be found 
in man himself, and that for the larger number of readers 
the chief attraction in travel centres in the contact with 
new tribes, whether on the equator or near the pole ; 
nor is the account of the life led by explorers in their 
own narrow circle during the isolation of the polar winter 
found to be less attractive. Descriptions of this sort 
are entirely absent from Ross's Travels : his south polar 
voyages were dedicated entirely to scientific research in 
desolate tracts ; they were made in vast regions unin- 
habitable by man, and consequently devoid of the element 
most eagerly sought after by a public always on the alert 
for something new. Perhaps it is not beyond the mark 
to say that this lack of human incident, coupled with 
an ignorance of the actual problems of scientific polar 
navigation and discovery, have co-operated to retard 
and check an intelligent interest in polar exploration. 

In the domain of science the results of Ross's travels 
constitute, not so much a revolution as the first strictly 
accurate data for modern geographical reasoning, to say 
nothing of our extended knowledge of the distribution 


of land and water in the Antarctic regions. The principal 
task, that of reaching the southern magnetic pole of the 
earth, remained undischarged ; it was a problem to which, 
in the utter absence of a suitable harbour in which to 
winter, there practically was no solution. On the other 
hand, Ross succeeded in determining and locating this 
pole with extreme accuracy, and, moreover, the magnetic 
observations constantly and conscientiously carried on in 
the most difficult and adverse circumstances afford such 
a mine of information, that to this day the material for 
our knowledge of the magnetic conditions of higher 
southern latitudes is almost exclusively drawn from it. 
But besides his terrestro-magnetic researches, scarcely a 
single branch of physiography was neglected by Ross ; 
on the contrary, all were considerably extended by him. 
His meteorological observations still retain the greatest 
value, and in addition to the study he made of the con- 
dition of the air in regard of temperature, moisture and 
density, he gave equal attention to the temperature of 
the sea. At times numerous soundings were made to 
ascertain the temperature and specific gravity of the 
water at various depths. That these have become 
worthless was no fault of Ross's, and must be attributed 
to the imperfections of the deep-sea thermometer of 
those days. The soundings still give the data for con- 
clusions concerning the bed of the ocean for vast regions 
in the Antarctic seas. In like manner the observations 
made by Ross on the condition of the ice of the 
Antarctic regions still remain invaluable in the study 
of physiography. 

That he added enormously to the previous knowledge 
of south polar exploration by his discovery of Victoria 
Land, and by his course along the great ice barrier for 
hundreds of miles, attaining the southernmost point of 
the globe as yet seen by the eye of man, need scarcely 
be insisted upon here. And although he was not so 


fortunate as to set foot on the newly-discovered con- 
tinent, or, to speak more modestly, on this enormous 
mass of land, he was able by means of his voyage to 
prove that in two places in the highest southern latitudes 
land covered with mountains of volcanic origin exists, 
and among them one volcano in an active state of 
eruption. The voyages of Ross also contributed to the 
extension of biological science by his deep-sea dredging, 
proving, what appeared not only amazing but incredible, 
the existence of living coral insects in the depths of the 
icy southern polar seas. And, lastly, he contributed to 
the industrial welfare of his fellow-creatures by the dis- 
covery of countless numbers of whales in high latitudes, 
as well as of islands thickly covered with the guano 
of the penguin, which may in the future become as 
valuable and important as the kryolith pits of Greenland. 
And above all, Ross has shown the world what may be 
achieved in those inhospitable regions by a competent, 
energetic leader, and has proved it with ships that had 
no power of self-propulsion, spite of all their excellence 
and fitness. If any man deserves to be regarded as the 
hero of Antarctic exploration surely it is James Clark 


The great period of south polar discovery came to an 
end with the return of Ross from his third Antarctic 
voyage, and all that has been achieved since can soon 
be told. The first event worthy of mention is the 
voyage of an American, William G. Smiley, captain 
of a seal-hunting vessel, one of the very few that con- 
tinued to hunt along the nearly depopulated coasts of 
the South Shetland Isles and of Palmer Land. His 
voyage is contemporaneous with the second voyage of 
Ross, as he landed on Deception Island in February, 


1842. Here he had the good fortune to find a self- 
registering thermometer which had been placed there by- 
Captain Foster in 1829, and which indicated a minimum 
temperature of — 5*08° F. 1 ; the index being somewhat out 
of order had failed to register the maximum temperature. 
The most important result of the voyage, however, was 
the verification of the fact that Graham's Land and 
Palmer Land were not joined together ; for Smiley, 
according to his instructions, sailed completely round 
the latter, thus becoming the forerunner of the German 
navigator, Captain Dallmann, in the discovery of Bismarck 

Far more important than the voyage or voyages of 
Smiley is the enterprise of the Pagoda, commanded by 
Lieutenant Moore. As Moore had received instruc- 
tions to make magnetic observations south of the 60th 
parallel of latitude, and between meridians o° and ioo° E. 
longitude, where none had been made by Ross, Wilkes, or 
Dumont d'Urville, his voyage may be regarded as comple- 
mentary to that of Ross. Moore left Simon's Bay on the 
9th of January, 1845, met ms ^ rst iceberg on the 25th in 
latitude 53° 30' S. and longitude 7° 30' E., but was as 
unsuccessful as either Cook or Ross in finding" the 
Bouvet Islands. Parallel 6o° S. was crossed on the 
30th of January, in longitude 3 45' E., and almost simul- 
taneously such heavy pack-ice was encountered that 
Moore was compelled to steer S.E. instead of S.W., 
more especially as the edge of the pack could be seen 
far away to the south. A peculiar rock was here ob- 
served, a mass of about 165,000 cubic feet, the summit of 
which was covered with ice and showed no movement, 
while a heavy surf beat all around it and the rock itself 
bore visible traces of the action of the breakers. Moore 
immediately took soundings, and it seemed as if the 

1 The original gives 20-6° C, which has been translated as - 20-6°. 
[The Translator.] 


bottom was reached at a depth of 1,150 feet, but the rapid 
course of the vessel rendered a repetition and verification 
of this measurement impossible. On the 5th of February 
the Antarctic circle was crossed in longitude 30° 45' E. v 
and on the nth the highest latitude attained during the 
voyage, latitude 6y° 5c/ S. and longitude 39° 4c/ E., was 
reached, but at the same time such heavy pack-ice was 
encountered that further progress south was out of the 
question. Land, or indications of it, was not seen, pro- 
bably in consequence of the dense fog. For some time 
Moore attempted to approach Enderby Land, but was 
hindered and thwarted by violent storms from the south- 
east, so that he was compelled to take a course towards 
the north, frequently hard pressed by the numerous and 
huge icebergs. Up to the 10th of March, where the 
parallel was crossed in longitude 98° E., Moore remained 
in latitude 6o° S., and then he reached latitude 64° 1 5' S., but 
one degree east of the spot where the Challenger twenty- 
nine years later attained her highest southern latitude. 
As the vessel had suffered somewhat severely, and the 
ice in latitude 55° S. and longitude no° E. rendered 
further progress south-east impossible, Moore steered 
north, and reached King George's Sound in Western 
Australia on the 1st of April. 

This was the last voyage in Antarctic regions for close 
upon twenty years ; meantime discoveries were made in 
the region of the drift-ice. Dougherty Island, found by 
Captain Dougherty in 1841, in latitude 59° 20' S. and 
longitude n 9° 45' W., was first declared to be merely an 
iceberg, but it was subsequently seen and verified by 
Captain Keates in 1859. The scattered groups of the 
Heard and Macdonald Islands, between latitude 53° \ r 
S. and 53° 14' S., and longitude 72° 32' and J3 53' E., 
were discovered and rediscovered by a number of navi- 
gators, more particularly by the eminent German physio- 
grapher, Georg Neumayer, though first seen by Captain 


Heard in November, 1853. The cause of the peculiar 
and remarkable phenomenon that so many merchantmen 
took their course through these desolate and isolated 
waters just at that time is to be found in the fact that 
the course to Eastern Australia and New Zealand lay 
along the lower parallel, a course that led past the Heard 
Islands. At a subsequent period it was abandoned owing 
to the great dangers to be apprehended from icebergs. 

A lull, therefore, set in both in Antarctic discovery and 
in the utilisation of the natural wealth of the Antarctic seas 
till the summer of 1873-4, when a German navigator, 
Captain Dallmann, with the ship Gronland, encouraged 
and sent out by the German Society for Polar Naviga- 
tion, again sought the waters of Bransfield Straits 
and the neighbouring region. The charts of these seas 
were considerably altered and modified by Dallmann's ex- 
plorations, more especially in the western portions. He cir- 
cumnavigated Trinity Land and proved its inconsiderable 
extent to the south ; he also showed that Palmer Land is 
separated from Graham's Land by a broad channel, the 
Bismarck Straits, with the group of Kaiser Wilhelm 
Islands at its western extremity. 

This renewed interest in the Antarctic regions was 
entirely due to the indefatigable energy of George Neu- 
mayer, now the eminent director of the German Naval 
Observatory. With the assistance of King Maximilian 
II. of Bavaria he made his second voyage to Australia 
in 1856, in order to found and direct an observatory for 
maritime meteorology and terrestro-magnetism, the Flag- 
staff Observatory at Melbourne. Even at that time he 
was entirely convinced of the absolute necessity for Ant- 
arctic exploration, not only in the interests of universal 
physiography, but more particularly in the development 
of the two before-mentioned subsidiary sciences. Thus, 
he, in 1864, began a long course of lectures, addresses 
and scientific articles on Antarctic exploration, first in 


Australia and subsequently in Europe. It is to be 
regretted that his efforts and exertions were productive 
of no result beyond establishing a complete unanimity 
of opinion in the scientific world ; the means for carrying 
out an expedition were not forthcoming in Germany ; 
neither the State, nor scientific societies, nor private 
endeavour, seconded Neumayer's unceasing activity. At 
length, after nearly twenty years, the Challenger, com- 
manded by Sir G. Nares, set out on a cruise south of 
Kerguelen Island, as advocated by Neumayer, continuing 
his course through the opening between Enderby Land, 
Kemp Land and Wilkes Land. This course had always 
been recommended by Neumayer as likely to be success- 
ful, because no vessel had previously attained a latitude 
much beyond 64° S., and it was known that between 
meridians 6o° and 90° E. only a remarkably small number 
of icebergs had been observed. This seemed to indicate 
a warm current setting southwards, rendering a progress 
towards the pole comparatively hopeful. It was pro- 
bably in consequence of the impetus given by Neumayer 
that the celebrated " Cruise of the Challenger " was 
entered upon in the southern summer of 1873 and 1874, 
destined to garner such full and such remarkable results 
for our increased scientific knowledge of everything 
connected with the geography of the Antarctic regions. 
The expedition undertook an exhaustive scientific in- 
vestigation of Kerguelen Island and of the Heard 
group, and then sailed south in order to complete their 
researches in deep-sea dredging in Antarctic waters. An 
actual voyage of discovery had not been planned ; in- 
deed, the Challenger herself had not been fortified for 
ice navigation, or even for any long stay in the drift-ice. 
On the nth of February the vessel left Corinthian Bay 
on the east of Heard Island, and on the same day, in 
latitude 6o° 30' S. and longitude j8° 30' E., the first 
iceberg was seen, though not followed by many others 


until the 13th of February. On the 14th of February 
the icebergs became very numerous, and the vessel ran 
into the open pack-edge in latitude 65° 30' S. and 
longitude 8o° E. ; this closed in completely towards the 
east on the next day, but appeared more open towards 
the south. Sailing along the edge of the pack, a latitude 
of 66° 40' S. was attained on the 16th of February, and 
the Antarctic circle, therefore, crossed in longitude 78° 30' 
E., the expedition meantime being favoured with very 
clear weather, in spite of which no land was seen. Nares 
now steered east in order at least to sight the western 
extremity of Wilkes Land, and reached latitude 64° 18' 
S. in longitude 94° 47' E., without hindrance from the 
pack-ice, though here again it made its appearance. On 
the 25th of February the Challenger was able to approach 
to within fifteen nautical miles of the assumed position of 
Wilkes' Termination Land, but, spite of clear weather, 
no land was visible either to the east or to the south. 
Nares now held his course north and north-east, and after 
weathering several severe storms in the ice saw his last 
iceberg on the 4th of March, in latitude 53° 17' S. and 
longitude 109° 23' E., and reached Melbourne on the 
17th of March. 

Although the time spent in the Antarctic Polar Seas 
was remarkably short, and no actual discovery was made, 
the observations made of the temperature, the salinity, the 
depth and the sediment at the bottom of the sea, as well 
as of the minute forms of marine life, nevertheless remain 
the most important in their results of any that have been 
made in higher latitudes. The same remark holds good of 
the investigation into the nature and the size of icebergs ; 
nay, it may even be affirmed that the few days spent by 
the Challenger in the higher latitudes have, thanks to 
improved methods, contributed more to our knowledge on 
these subjects than all the previous expeditions put to- 
gether. It is, therefore, a matter of surprise, in the face 


of such striking results, that, if the Belgian expedition 
under De Gerlache be excepted, no second undertaking 
of the kind should have been set on foot. Since the 
absolute necessity for Antarctic exploration has been in- 
sisted upon on all sides, more especially in England and 
and in Germany, as essential to an extended knowledge 
of scientific physiography, it is certainly most remarkable 
that not even a similar short advance should have been 
undertaken, to say nothing of a fully-equipped South 
Polar Expedition. It is true that the great International 
Polar Exploration during its year of activity secured two 
stations for observations in the southern hemisphere, 
but one was in Tierra del Fuego, in latitude 55° S., and 
the other, the German one, was situated on the north-east 
coast of South Georgia in Royal Bay, in latitude 54° 30' 
S. The results attained by both were highly important, 
and advanced the investigation of terrestro-magnetism 
no less than that of meteorology ; nevertheless both were 
too far distant from actual South Polar regions, and in 
other directions they could not possibly compensate for 
the absence of exploration and research in high latitudes. 
Ten years passed away before the idea of a voyage 
to Antarctic waters again arose, but not this time in the 
interests of science. The results of the whale fishery in 
the Arctic seas had for a long time steadily fallen off; 
indeed, some of the more important kinds of whales had 
nearly died out owing to the ruthless havoc made by 
steamers from the northern whaling stations equipped with 
harpoon guns. In consequence of this, two Scotch 
whaling captains, David and John Gray, published a 
memorial in which they dwelt on the large number and 
gigantic size of the Greenland, or very similar, whales 
observed by Ross in the waters to the east of Louis- 
Philippe Land. This suggestion fell on good ground, 
and in the beginning of September, 1892, four ships 
belonging to the Dundee Whale Fishing Company left 


their native harbour for the whale fisheries in the 
waters indicated. Two of the ships carried thorough 
and scientifically trained medical men, Charles W. 
Donald, on board the Active, and W. S. Bruce, on 
board the Balena, both amply provided with scientific 
instruments by Leigh Smith, the eminent Arctic navi- 
gator, and the Maecenas of polar exploration. Burn 
Murdoch, the artist, also embarked on board the Balena. 
The vessels first sailed for the Falkland Islands, quitting 
them again at the beginning of December, and hunting 
for whales, but without adequate success. Their course 
was constantly east and south and south-east after leaving 
Joinville Island and Louis- Philippe Land. The only 
addition to previously ascertained topographical know- 
ledge made by this expedition was the verification of the 
chart, made by Ross, of the southern outlines of Joinville 
Island, and of the channel, thirty miles long and from 
two and a half to five miles wide, separating the island 
from the mainland. Captain Robertson of the Active 
circumnavigated the whole island by means of this 
channel, which was tolerably free from ice, and named 
it Dundee Island. The channel he called Firth of 
Tay in its broader half extending in a south-easterly 
direction, the narrower south-western end receiving the 
name of Active Sound. The coast lines of the Erebus 
and Terror Gulf were also more accurately laid down 
than had been possible to Ross. Dr. Donald also 
effected a landing in Active Sound on the shore of 
Joinville Island. On the whole, the condition of the 
ice seems to have been highly favourable, but the main 
object of the voyage prevented any thorough investiga- 
tion of the land, clearly proving that a whaling expedition 
cannot be utilised as a voyage of modern exploration. 
The meteorological observations made during this voyage 
were so far valuable that they established the facts that 
in this Antarctic region south and south-east winds 


play an important part, and that in these somewhat 
northerly latitudes the maximum temperature of the 
southern midsummer is a very low one. The observa- 
tions made of the icy covering of the land, which was 
closely approached, also verify what had been previously 
ascertained, though in higher latitudes. Towards the 
end of February the Dundee whalers again left these 
waters, the last iceberg being seen by the Active on the 
25th, near Elephant Island, in very nearly the same 
latitude as that in which the first had been sighted near 
Clarence Island on the 18th of December. 

The Dundee vessels had not been alone in their 
undertaking of the southern summer of 1892-3. The 
Norwegian whaling steamer Jason, commanded by 
Captain Larsen, and commissioned by the Hamburg 
Oceana Association, had appeared simultaneously in the 
same waters. This was the same vessel that had taken 
Nansen to the east coast of Greenland for his celebrated 
journey across the country. Larsen had arrived at the 
same time as the Scotchmen, and had also left the un- 
profitable seas at the same time, but had kept a somewhat 
different course. He had sailed by the South Orkney 
Islands, on one of which he landed, steering south, con- 
siderably to the east, therefore, of the other ships. From 
Seymour Island to the west of Mount Haddington, where 
a landing was effected, valuable fossils were brought, and 
Dr. Donald considered that Captain Larsen manifested a 
lively interest in discovery. While the Scotch vessels, 
disappointed in their attempt to meet the profitable whale- 
bone whale in southern waters, gave up all further effort 
in the icebound Antarctic seas, Larsen left the harbour of 
Sandefjord, on the 12th of August, 1893, commissioned 
by the Oceana Company to make a second attempt in 
seeking out the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago. He was 
accompanied by the Hertha, commander Captain Even- 
sen, and the Castor, under Captain Pedersen. On the 


9th of November the first iceberg was seen in latitude 
6o° 59' S. and longitude 57° 12' W. ; then a southerly 
course was taken, steering close to Elephant Island, con- 
stantly surrounded by drift-ice, which towards the east 
grew more and more like pack, especially in latitude 63^° 
to 64^-° S. On the 16th of November the vessel was 
near Seymour Island, upon which a landing was made ; 
but Larsen from this point steered east, seeking for seals 
along the edge of the pack-ice. He continued this course 
till the 23rd of November as far as longitude 47° 32' W. 
in latitude 63° 22' S., when, discouraged by his ill-success 
in seal-hunting, he returned to the west as far as longitude 
53° W., in order subsequently to steer due south-west. 
In the face of numerous huge icebergs, the highest lati- 
tude attained by Ross in January and February, 1843, 
was soon crossed, the sea being nearly free from ice. 
Land was distinctly seen in the west in clear weather, 
and on the evening of the 29th of November open 
water was everywhere seen to the south after crossing 
the 65th parallel of southern latitude. On the 1st of 
December the ship was near the fixed ice by which the 
newly-discovered land was surrounded. Larsen named 
it King Oscar II. Land, and a mountain partly free from 
ice at its foot was called Jason Mountain ; its eastern 
promontory, three or four miles distant from the ship 
while in latitude 66° 4' S. and longitude 59° 40' W., was 
named Cape Framnces. On the days following, the 
Jason continued her southerly course along the ice barrier 
enclosing the coast line. On the further side the ice- 
covered land rose gradually and without any inequality 
of surface towards the interior. After the Antarctic circle 
had been crossed on the 3rd of December, the vessel, 
steaming along in sight of land, attained its highest lati- 
tude of 68° io r S. in longitude 59° 59' W. on the evening 
of the 6th of December. Owing to the dense, unbroken 
ice encountered here, it became impossible to continue 


the southern course along the coast, or, more correctly, 
along- the ice barrier. The land, however, still extended 
beyond the horizon to the south, rising gradually from 
the coast to a good elevation in the interior, and entirely 
covered with snow. 

As the course southwards was stopped by ice, and 
the open water along the coast through which the Jason 
had made her way was considerably encroached upon by 
the pack-ice towards the east also, Larsen began his 
return along the edge of the pack, again approached 
Cape Framnces, and now explored the region between 
King Oscar Land and Louis-Philippe Land. Wetter 
Island had been previously seen on the return voyage in 
a bay south of Jason Mountain and Foyn Land to the 
west of it. Both had been concealed by fog on the 
voyage south. To the north of King Oscar Land a 
chain of islands, the Seal Islands, extending from 
south-east to north-west, was seen, the easternmost, 
Robertson Island, being the largest. Two outlying 
islands to the north proved, to Larsen's surprise, to be 
active volcanoes, which had partly covered the neigh- 
bouring ice with their erupted matter. Larsen landed on 
the eastern one, Christensen Volcano, without, however, 
reaching the interior, which was free from snow, and 
was well able to look down upon the western one, the 
Lindenberg Cone. Beyond this group of islands the 
sea, always excepting its surface of ice, seemed open 
and without any more islands, so that Palmer Land and 
Trinity Land would thus be reduced to an archipelago 
of comparatively small extent. On the 1 2th of December 
he steered farther north, past Snow Land, and on the 
14th he met the Castor and the Hertha. All three 
vessels now took their course by the South Shetland 
Islands to Tierra del Fuego and thence to the Falkland 
Isles, where they landed the proceeds of their expedition, 
and took in fresh coal in order to go south again and 


continue their seal-hunting. This second undertaking 
during the southern summer of 1893-4 on ^y t0 °k 
Larsen into the waters surrounding Joinville Island, and 
added nothing to his observations as an explorer in these 
regions. On the 16th of January he had started from 
Port Stanley in the Falkland Isles, on the 12th of March 
the 60th parallel of latitude was re-crossed on the 
return voyage, and on the 15th of March Port Stanley 
was again reached. 

If Larsen thus became the discoverer of the probable 
east coast of Graham's Land, and verified its great ex- 
tension to the south, Evensen no less could point to 
important results achieved by the Hertha. He had 
sighted the South Shetland Isles on the 1st of November 
and seen his first iceberg on the same day in latitude 
6i° 56' S. and longitude 58° 32' W., while sailing south 
south-west and south-west and afterwards passing Decep- 
tion Island and Low Island. Here he steered along the 
Biscoe Islands, and was surprised by the the unusual 
circumstance that no ice was seen from the 3rd to the 
9th of November. On the 9th of November the Ant- 
arctic circle was crossed, on the 10th Adelaide Island was 
sighted, drift-ice being met at the same time, and on 
the following day the edge of the pack lying east was 
encountered. Evensen steered south along this edge as 
far as latitude 68° 18' S. and longitude 73° 41' W., which the 
vessel reached on the 12th of November. Now he again 
steered north, and again along the Biscoe Islands, then 
through the northern portion of the group to the east, 
and then south on the western side, attaining his highest 
latitude of 69° io' S. in longitude 76° 12' W. without any 
hindrance from ice. Alexander Land came in sight on 
the 22nd November ; it was surrounded by pack-ice, but 
unfortunately we hear nothing of any observations con- 
cerning its highly probable connection with Graham's 
.Land. Again Evensen steered to the north-west on the 


western side of the Biscoe Islands, passed through the 
Bransfield Straits and the waters to the east of Joinville 
Island, where, as already stated, he fell in with Pedersen 
and Larsen, and sailed with them to Ushuaya in Tierra 
del Fuego and to the Falkland Islands. He, too, made a 
second voyage to the waters of Joinville Island in the 
second half of January, returning to the Falkland Islands 
in March, and to Norway in the beginning of July. 

Both voyages, that of the Hertha and, more especially, 
that of the Jason, are decidedly the most important since 
those of Ross for the extended knowledge of Antarctic 
geography. The most surprising fact in the experience 
of both vessels is the remarkable absence of obstructing 
ice in the waters they visited, especially if the time of 
year be considered. The November of the southern 
hemisphere corresponds to the June of the northern, a time 
in which all progress in southern waters is generally stopped 
by dense pack-ice. And it cannot be argued that the ice 
in the south was perhaps not detached so early in the 
season, thus blocking the sea to the north later on, for 
it does not appear that Larsen and Evensen found any 
change worth mentioning in the condition of the ice on 
their second voyage south in January. 

In the same year, 1894, in which the vessels of the 
Hamburg Oceana Company had returned home, a Nor- 
wegian ship set out from Melbourne for the south. This 
was the steam whaler Antarctic, belonging to the well- 
known shipowner, Svend Foyn of Christiania, with a 
record of twenty-three years' service behind her. A 
young Norwegian naturalist, C. Egeberg Borchgrevingk, 
was on board as common sailor, for in his enthusiasm 
for South Polar exploration he had first resolved to ship 
as a passenger, only to find his scheme impossible. His 
description of his voyage, though not contributing much 
that is new, nevertheless contains some interesting parti- 
culars. The Antarctic left Melbourne on the 20th of 



September, and sailed past Macquarie Island without 
meeting any whales, to the Campbell Island, where a 
landing was made. In the beginning of November the 
first icebergs were seen, and on the 6th a vast mass of 
ice was sighted in latitude 58° 14/ S. and longitude 162° 
35' E., which extended from east to north-west for a 
distance of from forty-five to sixty-five miles. It was 
impossible to determine whether this was a continuous 
mass or only a chain of closely-wedged icebergs. On 
the same day it was discovered that the ship's screw was 
out of order, and it was, therefore, necessary to return to 
Port Chalmers (Dunedin on the southern island of New 
Zealand), which was reached on the 18th of November: 
A fresh start was made south after leaving Stewart Island 
on the 28th of November, and on the 7th of December 
the Antarctic again reached the edge of the pack-ice. On 
the next day the vessel was forced into the ice in latitude 
62° 45' S. and longitude 171° 30' E., and came in sight 
of the Balleny Isles on the 14th of December, where the 
pack-ice proved to be impenetrable even for the steamer, 
which was, indeed, quite closed in. After a thirty-eight 
days' course through the pack-ice, open water was reached 
on the 14th of January, 1895, in latitude 69° 55' S. and 
longitude 177° 5c/ E., and on the 16th Cape Adare was 
already in sight. On the 18th the Antarctic first cruised 
along the coast to the north-west, then to the south, 
where it was possible for Borchgrevingk to effect a 
landing on Possession Island, and to make as accurate 
an investigation as his short stay allowed. The most 
interesting find made here was that of a lichen, the 
southernmost land plant yet known. The voyage was now 
continued till on the 22nd of January, in latitude 74° S. 
and longitude 171° 15' E., the most southern point was 
reached near the southern extremity of Coulman Island. 
It would, doubtless, have been possible to penetrate still 
farther south without difficulty, but as no whales were to 


be seen, the captain resolved to return, and to make for 
Cape Adare, which was reached next day. The weather 
was remarkably clear and glorious, the lofty summits of 
Victoria Land, radiant in their their icy mantle, shone 
with magic beauty in the midday and midnight sun, and 
everywhere gigantic icebergs lay near the coast. During 
the night of the 23rd January a party landed on a low 
tongue of land running north from Gape Adare, the first 
human beings to set foot on the Antarctic continent, or at 
least the most extensive land mass of the Antarctic regions. 
Borchgrevingk collected specimens of the stones at hand, 
I found the same lichen as on Possession Island, and then 
returned to board the Antarctic. This was accompanied 
with some difficulty as the ship was almost entirely out of 
sight, and the boat was obliged to struggle for several 
hours through the drift-ice. The Antarctic now steered 
north, ran into the pack again on the 26th of January, in 
latitude 69° 52' S. and longitude 169° 56' E., emerging 
after cutting her way through for six days, and finally 
reached Melbourne on the 4th of March, taking a good 
catch of whales on the way. 

This voyage closes the history of Antarctic explora- 
tion, as the results anticipated by the Belgian expedition, 
which left Antwerp under De Gerlache in the Belgica 
on the 1 6th of August, 1897, are not Y et published. 
This survey indicates what parts of the Antarctic 
regions have principally been visited, and sums up how 
much or how little has been achieved by each attempt. 
It will be the aim of the subsequent pages to gather 
into a whole the results of all these explorations so far 
as their fragmentary nature renders such a task possible. 



It has been seen in our survey of Antarctic exploration 
how land has been gradually found in South Polar 
regions, and almost entirely during the present century ;. 
also how the conception of a great Terra australis in- 
cognita has been proved to be equally erroneous with 
the conjecture that no land whatever, or of only trifling 
extent, was to be found ; so that the whole Antarctic 
region might be regarded as one vast southern sea, in 
which the three great oceans of our globe mingle their 
boundless waters — an opinion defended by Florien in the 
last century, and by Petermann and Peschel in this. It has 
been proved, on the contrary, that extensive masses of land 
exist near the Antarctic circle and to the south of it, and 
other circumstances, pre-eminently the distribution of the 
winds and of the drift-ice, point to the probability that con- 
tinued exploration will lead to extended discovery of land. 

If we look at the map of the regions round the South 
Pole, it is obvious that the land — always excepting the 
smaller isolated islands lying to the north of the 6oth 
parallel of south latitude — falls into three clearly defined 
groups. Within these the contiguity of the land seen and 
discovered at various times leads to the conjecture that 
it is connected, and that certainly in a wider sense it may 
in each instance be regarded as forming a geological whole. 
These three groups, already noticed in the chapters on 
the situation and limits of Antarctic countries, are : — 

i. Peter I. Island, Alexander Land, Graham's Land, 
the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago, the South Shetland, and 
the South Orkney Islands. 

2. Enderby and Kemp Land. 


3. Wilkes Land, the Balleny Isles, and Victoria Land. 

Within the limits defined at the outset, the island of 
South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, the Bouvet 
Islands, and Dougherty Island are also to be found. Be- 
yond the extreme belt of the pack-ice, on the other hand, 
lie the Marion and Crozet Islands, Kerguelen and Heard 
Island, as also Macquarie Island and Campbell Island ; 
these latter, therefore, are not taken into account. 

If now the situation of the Antarctic groups of land 
be compared with that of the continents lying partly or 
entirely to the south of the equator, a striking fact is at 
once perceived. The two most extensive masses of Ant- 
arctic land hitherto discovered lie under almost the same 
meridians as South America and Australia with New 
Zealand, in both instances somewhat to the west, and 
both approaching the opposite continent in peninsular 
conformation. Moreover, just as South America projects 
furthest south of all the continents, so the Dirk Gerritz 
Archipelago and the South Shetland Islands extend 
farthest north beyond the Antarctic circle, separated 
from South America only by the comparatively narrow 
Drake's Straits. In other respects, also, comparisons 
might be drawn between the masses of land thus lying 
opposite to each other, as shown in an exceedingly in- 
teresting, though merely theoretical, work by Hans Reiter. 
For instance, just as the coast of Wilkes Land appears 
to be a duplicate of the Australian coast, not only in hori- 
zontal outline, but also in vertical structure, so the 
gigantic mountain range to which the coast of Victoria 
Land rises seems to correspond to the mountain chain 
of New Zealand ; while the volcanic southern extremity 
of the Cordilleras of South America finds its counterpart 
in the broken and scattered island masses, also bearing 
active volcanoes, to the south of Drake's Straits. Whether 
it is reasonable to assume that this external resemblance 
corresponds to some internal structure, or is even based on 


some direct connection, later discovery and careful investig- 
ation on the spot alone can determine. The subject will 
again be approached. For the present we turn to consider 
the conformation of Antarctic lands, and the geological 
structure with which the surface is so intimately connected. 
Before entering upon this quest, it will be well to 
pause and realise how far it is possible to deal with the 
subject, and to consider to what extent the observations 
hitherto made on the spot supply matter for drawing up 
a summarised account of the countries of the Antarctic 
regions. The result of such consideration must prove 
discouraging. All the voyages hitherto made have by 
their discoveries scarcely added more to our knowledge 
than the determination of coast outlines, and the state- 
ment of the elevations along the coast lines, but neither the 
one nor the other is even remotely complete or scientifically 
accurate. The sketch of the history of discovery only 
too frequently shows that ice prevented all such approach 
to the shore as would have allowed the details of the 
coast to be ascertained with any degree of certainty, 
and, in like mariner, frequent dense fogs probably shut 
out the view of land that might perhaps otherwise have 
been seen. In the same manner, the value of the 
measurements made of high land is greatly diminished 
when regard is paid to the heaving of the vessel and 
to its distance both from the coast, and the mountain 
summits of whose height an approximate estimate was 
made. It must be remembered that even the heights given 
by Ross, who surpasses all others in accuracy, were cal- 
culated from angles taken on board from different positions 
of the ship, and these very positions could not be deter- 
mined with perfect accuracy on the heaving sea. An 
error of a few seconds in the astronomical observation 
would be productive of an important error in comput- 
ing distant heights. If the representations of Antarctic 
countries on our maps and the measurement of their 


height above sea-level are thus unsatisfactory, and only 
to be accepted as average or approximate, how much 
less do we know about their geological structure? It 
is only necessary to remember that no landing what- 
ever was effected on the whole coast of Wilkes Land, 
and that Victoria Land offered an opportunity only on 
one circumscribed spot ; Enderby, Kemp, Alexander 
and Graham's Land have been seen only from afar ; 
portions of the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago have certainly 
been landed upon in isolated spots, but without any 
sufficient investigation being possible. We shall see 
that the South Shetland Isles have been visited and 
that crews have wintered there, but all this was on the 
part of wholly uneducated seal-hunters, without a trace 
of scientific aptitude or knowledge. We have a tolerably 
satisfactory knowledge only of Deception Island in the 
above-named group, and of Royal Bay in the island of 
South Georgia, but for the rest are dependent on the 
accounts of discoverers who were either entirely unin- 
structed or conversant only with the meagre outlines 
of the undeveloped science of petrography during the 
first half of the century. The specimens from which 
observations — such as they are — were made, consist 
of such stones as were found ready to hand, or brought 
up in the dredging-net, or taken from the stomach of 
some animal. It is, therefore, no wonder that the follow- 
ing pages will contain but little of an account of the 
structure of Antarctic lands. Rather will they indicate 
the chasm which yawns across the collective knowledge 
we possess of our planet, a void to be ascribed to the 
neglect of South Polar exploration. 

In treating of the several groups of land, we shall 
purposely start with the entirely isolated group of the 
Bouvet Islands in the South Atlantic, since they have 
not the remotest connection with any other Antarctic 
islands and lands. Next, we shall turn west to South 


Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, then continue 
the investigation of the land south of Drake's Strait. 
Turning west again, we shall come upon the regions of 
Victoria Land and Wilkes Land, and conclude with 
Kemp Land and Enderby Land. 


On every map of the southern half of the Atlantic 
Ocean a narrow submarine ridge runs south beyond 40° 
S. latitude, almost along the same meridian. On this lie 
the solitary and lonesome islands of Ascension, Tristan 
d'Acunha, Gough or Diego Alvarez Island, and a few 
smaller ones. Continuing a line due south, a greater 
depth is again indicated, though not in figures based on 
actual soundings. It is, therefore, not impossible that 
the submarine elevation is again continued further south, 
and in its extension serves as base also for the volcanic 
group of the Bouvet Islands, situated to the south-west 
of Gough Island. 

The peculiar part played by the Bouvet Islands is 
already known from the history of discovery ; their first 
discoverer, Bouvet, took them to be the promontories of 
the great southern continent, yet they remained concealed 
from Cook, Ross, and Moore ; meantime they were twice 
re-discovered by English whalers in 1808 and 1823, and 
their existence, therefore, proved. All three discoverers 
of the Bouvet Islands have assigned different positions 
to them, and it is difficult to reconcile these reports, 
especially as these reports helped neither Ross nor 
Moore to find the islands at all. According to Bouvet, 
the western extremity of the land seen by him lay in 
longitude 4° 30' E., according to his colleague Hay the 
longitude was 4 15' E., while Bouvet made the latitude 
54° S., and Hay 54° 6' S. Bouvet described the land 
as extending from the cape in an E.N.E. direction for a 
distance of from twenty-four to thirty nautical miles, 
while the length of the coast to the south-east seemed 


to be eighteen to twenty-one nautical miles. From north 
to south the island was about twelve to fifteen nautical 
miles long. The land was on the whole high, and 
covered with snow in its more elevated parts, but in 
the south-east it descended rather low. The coast had 
many small indentations, but was so steep as to be 
nearly unapproachable. As it was, Bouvet's ships could 
not get nearer than twelve to fifteen nautical miles, as 
the coast was surrounded by dense pack-ice. In con- 
sequence of this, and of the dense and frequent fogs, it 
was impossible for Bouvet to obtain a clearer image of 
the natural features of his discovery. 

Lindsay, who saw land considerably earlier, as far as 
the season is concerned, places the middle of the island 
seen by him in latitude 54° 22' S. and longitude 4° 15' 
E., and gives it an extension of about fifteen nautical 
miles east and west. He, too, found it covered with 
snow, and, like Bouvet, he describes the eastern end as 
low and the western as very high and steep. He tried 
to approach the island, but was prevented by the ice 
■closely surrounding it. This extended three nautical 
miles on the west side, but on the east (the lee) side 
the ice had a breadth of twenty-one to thirty-four miles. 
Bouvet, like Lindsay, thought he noticed trees, or, at 
least, shrubs, in places free from snow, probably the 
•tussock grass, so widely spread over sub- Antarctic islands. 

Finally, Norris, who in 1823 discovered land and 
landed on it, gives so different a position and descrip- 
tion that one must assume that either his predecessors 
had calculated the position of their discovery most in- 
accurately, or had found an altogether different island, 
since Norris declares he saw not only one but two 
islands, besides several rocks. The middle of the first 
of these, which he named Liverpool Island, lies ac- 
cording to him in latitude 54° 15' S. and longitude 5 
E., extends nine to twelve nautical miles north and 


south, is elevated and uneven in the north, low in the 
south, high and snow-clad in the middle. The coast 
was steep and, therefore, not fitted for landing upon. 
At a distance of forty-five nautical miles to the north- 
east of this island, in latitude 53° 56' S. and longitude 
5 30' E., lies Thompson Island, and four to five nautical 
miles to the south-west of this three isolated rocks, the 
Chimneys, with a fourth, three nautical miles farther 
south. As the crew of one of the boats was weather- 
bound for six days on Thompson Island, some account 
of it is given, though very short. According to this 
the island consists of a volcanic mass, the rocks falling 
perpendicularly to the sea, with the exception of one 
place in the south-west. The surface shows streams of 
obsidian with layers of pumice-stone interspersed. Of 
the vegetation nothing is said, neither is reference made 
to the extent or the height of the island, or to any other 
detail that might have been expected. 

If these three accounts be compared, the first parti- 
cular attracting attention is that the latitude of the dis- 
covery of Bouvet, as well as that of Lindsay, is not far 
removed from the latitude that N orris assigns to his 
Liverpool Island. Bouvet gives 54° to 54° 5', Lindsay 
54° 22', and Norris 54° 15' S., therefore midway between 
the other two explorers. It must be borne in mind 
that Norris not only evidently had brighter weather 
than Bouvet or Lindsay, but he was provided with 
better instruments, and could, therefore, lay down the 
position more accurately ; it is, therefore, not unreasonable 
to assume that all three saw the same island. Another 
argument for this view can be drawn from the fact that 
both Bouvet's vessels apparently saw land on the 8th 
and 9th of January, 1739, to the N.N.E. of Cape 
Circoncision, exactly in the direction, therefore, in which 
N orris's Thompson Island was seen from his Liverpool 
Island. Two items remain which apparently tell against 


the assumption that the three discoveries were identical 
— the appearance and the size. The latter is greatest 
in Bouvet's account, while the appearance is described 
exactly like the appearance by Lindsay, elevated in the 
west, flat in the east, while Norris describes it as high in 
the north and low in the south. In a previous work 1 the 
author has explained the extraordinary circumstance that 
neither Ross nor Moore succeeded in finding the island 
group, by the conjecture that it no longer exists. It may 
have disappeared owing either to a submarine subsidence, 
or, what is far more probable, to a fresh volcanic eruption, 
like that of Krakatao. And even if such a conjecture 
cannot be entirely upheld, a fresh eruption would account 
for its changed appearance and dimished extent. In the 
same place it was pointed out that the peculiar ridge of 
rock resembling the terrace on which surf beats, which 
Moore saw in latitude 6o° 45' S., longitude 4 E. — -there- 
fore near the meridian of Bouvet Island — might be the 
last vestige of a vanished volcanic island. Be that as it 
may, in any event it is greatly to be desired, as Ross has 
already emphasised, that the circumstances should once 
for all be fully investigated from the Cape, especially in 
the matter of taking numerous and accurate soundings, and 
thus to establish either the continued existence of the 
islands or the existence of a submarine bank in their place. 


As early as Bellingshausen's time the idea came into 
existence that South Georgia, as well as the group of 
the South Sandwich Isles, is probably intimately con- 
nected with South America. Bellingshausen held that 
all these islands belong to a mountain chain which was 
supposed to extend by the Aurora rocks — -which probably 
have no existence — right across to the Falkland Islands. 
Hans Reiter, who has already been referred to, has 

1 Fricker, Ursprung und Verbreitung des Antarktischen Treibeises. 


latterly taken up another theory, holding that South 
Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands might be 
links in a chain extending to the Dirk Gerritz Archi- 
pelago from the South American Cordilleras. The con- 
ception is so interesting that it is worthy some attention, 
more especially as many circumstances seem to point to 
an intimate connection between the two regions. 

It is well known that the west coast of South America 
is formed by a gigantic chain of mountains, the Andes or 
Cordilleras. These are two parallel chains of corrugated, 
rocky strata, extending from north to south, of which 
the westernmost, consisting of rock belonging to a later 
geological period, forms a chain of rocky islets off the 
Chili coast from Puerto Montt, while the eastern, con- 
siderably older and more elevated, forms the true crest 
or dorsum of the double chain. In the region of the 
western outlet of the Straits of Magellan, however, the 
outer chain diverges from its previous direction of north 
to south, towards the south-east, and terminates, after 
running due east and E.N.E., in the rocky Cape of 
St. John at the eastern end of Staaten Island. According 
to E. Suess the whole range enclosing Tierra del Fuego 
and forming the belt of islands off its coast, is a continua- 
tion of the western mountain range, and not a continuation 
of the main range of the Cordilleras. 1 1 has just been stated 
that this ends in Staaten Island, but if we examine a more 
detailed map — best of all, a sea-chart — we find in the 
extension of the island east and north-east, and at a 
comparatively small distance from it, a widely extended 
submarine bank, Burdwood Bank, over which the waters 
are less than 600 feet deep and diminish to only 140 
feet, while half way between Staaten Island and the bank, 
a depth of 1,250 feet has been sounded. The principal 
direction of Burdwood Bank is from west to east, and 
extends perhaps 250 miles, while its breadth at its widest 
is approximately only forty-five miles. It seems more 


than probable that this elevation in the bed of the ocean 
is closely connected with the Cordilleras, since it is not 
easy to imagine a continental ridge other than a pro- 
longation of these, or a piled-up mass of non-volcanic 
origin. Proceeding from the Burdwood Bank towards 
E.N.E. the direction leads to the isolated cliffs of the 
Shag Rocks, rising above the depths to a height of 140 
feet in latitude 53° 49/ S. and longitude 43° 26' W. 
Weddel assigns only a height of forty-five to sixty 
feet to the Shag Rocks, and describes them as three 
cone-shaped rocks surrounded by a reef. We reach 
these rocks, however, if the direction of the western 
extremity of South Georgia is pursued, so that the 
possibility of this island being causally connected with 
the Cordilleras is perfectly credible. The eastern ex- 
tremity of South Georgia turns to the south-east, and 
its extension is perceived in the Clerkes Rocks, numerous 
rocky islets which again lie in a continuation of the same 
line to the Traversey Islands, the north-western members 
of the volcanic South Sandwich group. The group again 
does not extend in a line parallel to the meridian, but in 
a wide curve open to the west, so that the southernmost 
islands again extend to the south-west. 

In regard of its extension the whole group bears a 
strong resemblance to the Lesser Antilles, and if we con- 
tinue the comparison South Georgia would correspond 
to Puerto Rico or to Haiti in regard of situation. It is 
well known that the Lesser Antilles represent the inner 
zone of the Central American Cordillera chain, here sunk 
in the ocean depths with the exception of the summits of 
its volcanoes, while the Greater Antilles, together with the 
islands lying east of the volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles, 
represent the non-volcanic zone. This range of the 
Cordilleras passes by way of the island of Trinidad, here 
extending west, and reappears on the continent as the 
Cordillera of Venezuela. If an equivalent is sought 


in the volcanic South Sandwich Isles it is found that 
if a sweep of the range from south-west to due west 
be. presumed, the imaginary continuation would light 
upon the South Orkneys, and, beyond them, on the 
South Shetlands, terminating in the Biscoe Islands lying 
off the coast of Graham's Land. If later investigations 
should really prove successful eventually in establishing 
the causal connection which has here been set up as 
imaginary and hypothetical, then the close relation of 
at least one group of Antarctic countries with the great 
leading feature of the contintental structure of the globe 
would be made manifest, the repetition of the great sweep 
of the Antilles would place these Antarctic countries in 
direct communication with the gigantic mountain-frame of 
the Pacific basin. The acceptance of such a theory is not 
entirely to be rejected, for although very little is known of 
the geological structure of the South Polar regions, yet 
what is known of South Georgia points to the inference 
of an approximation to the rocks of the Cordilleras. 

It has been necessary to discuss these points in some 
detail, so as to throw into relief the importance and signi- 
ficance of South Georgia in any estimate of the probable 
geology of the whole south-western region of the Atlantic 
Ocean. We will now turn to a consideration of the island 

Although South Georgia belongs to the earliest 
Antarctic discoveries, even if no regard be paid to its 
questionable discovery by Amerigo Vespucci, although 
the north-east coast was laid down as completely as 
possible by Cook, and the south-west coast by Bellings- 
hausen, and although finally the German South Polar 
station remained there nearly a year, little is accurately 
known of even the mere outline of the island. Indeed, 
on the arrival of the German corvette Moltke, it was 
found impossible to recognise the bays laid down and 
described by Cook. It is, therefore, necessary to premise 



that the positions indicated in the map are not even now 
absolutely correct, those in the neighbourhood of Royal 
Bay excepted. 

South Georgia, as is shown on the map, is a long 
island, extending on the whole from west north-west to 
east south-east. The uniform direction is not altered by 
the few islets off the coast, so that both the eastern and 
westernmost promontories are found on them. In the 
west this occurs on Willis Island, situated, according to 
Bellingshausen, in latitude 54° 4! S. and longitude 38° 
22' W., and in the east on Cooper Island in longitude 
36° 34/ W., according to Cook. The most northern 

Map of South Georgia (after Stieler's Hand Atlas). 

point is Cape North, in latitude 53° 57' S., near the 
western extremity, the most southern South Cape, in 
latitude 54° 57' S., near the eastern extremity. The 
greatest extent of the island may be taken to be 105 
to no miles, the average breadth fifteen miles, the 
greatest breadth twenty-five miles or more. In many 
parts, however, the breadth is very considerably less, 
for bays of fjord-like character make deep indentations 
on both coasts, more especially in the west where, 
according to Weddell, two bays approach from opposite 
sides to within five furlongs of each other. As these 


indentations are insufficiently known, it is not as yet 
possible to state the extent of the land area. Including 
the fjords the total area of the group may be estimated 
at 1,560 to 1,700 square miles, to which the outlying islets 
contribute very little. How far the submarine base 
extends, i.e., the ocean bed at a depth of less than 600 
feet all round the island, is not known up to the present 
time ; Cook gives a sounding of only 225 feet at a distance 
of nearly five miles from shore, near Possession Bay, 
on the north-east coast, but on the other hand 650 
feet were given at the same distance from Cumberland 

Between Willis Island, the extreme western outpost, 
and the main island, Vogel Island, small and level, 
interposes in the two and a half miles' wide channel 
separating the two. From this point the coast runs 
north-east and east to Cape Buller, to the east of which 
Possession Bay is found. The bay takes its name from 
the landing effected there by Cook when possession was 
taken of the island. Island Bay, Cape Saunders, and 
Cumberland Bay follow, succeeded by Royal Bay be- 
tween Cape George and Cape Charlotte. From this 
point the coast, which extended from Cape Saunders to 
the south-east, changes its direction to the south, forming 
Sandwich Bay near to the South East Cape, off which 
an island, Cooper Island, is situated, and extends to South 
Cape. From this cape, before which three low level 
islands, one Green Island, are situated, the coast extends 
to Cape Kuprianow and forms Novoselskji Bay, before 
which, at a considerable distance from the shore, Pickersgill 
Island lies, accompanied by two smaller islands. Next 
comes St. Mary's Bay, smaller and formerly frequently 
visited by seal-hunters ; then a long straight coast line 
with Annenkow Island off it, and the last section of the 
south-west coast appears to be most deeply indented with 
fjords. Near the western extremity of the island lies 


Adventure Bay, followed by the channel between Willis 

Island and the main island. 

Not only the outline, the narrow and extended form, 

the deep fjords, point to the fact that in South Georgia 

we have before us a portion of a broken and submerged 

mountain chain, but the structure of its surface and the 

meagre details we possess of the geology of the island 

prove such conjecture a certainty. From one extremity 

to the other a wild range of mountains fills the island, 

rising steep and precipitous from the sea to a considerable 

height, and, so far as is known, nowhere descending 

to valley or plain of any importance. It appears that 

a single principal range forms the backbone, from 

which lateral ranges strike out on both sides, but 

principally to the north-east ; between these the deep 

fjord-like bays, before referred to, extend far inland. All 

the highest summits appear to belong to the principal 

range, and occur especially in the eastern half, where 

the altitudes were computed at the German South Polar 

Station in Royal Bay. The highest elevations in the 

neighbourhood of the station, those of the " Wetterwand," 

approximate to 7,000 feet at a distance of about seven 

miles from the coast : much like the Piz Bernina from 

Pont Resina in the Rhcetian Alps. Summits rise sheer 

from the sea in Royal Bay to a height of 2,300 to 2,600 

feet. From one of these mountains, looking west, still 

greater elevations were seen in the far distance in the same 

region where the highest summits had been observed 

from the south coast also. Between the summits of the 

range the passes are partly found to be of low elevation, 

as for instance in the case of the gigantic Ross Glacier, 

which flows into Royal Bay, where the height of the 

pass seems to reach only about 1,100 feet. The outlines 

of the heights are remarkably abrupt and bold, and they 

occur on ridges with steep descents on both sides. But 

the circumstance which in addition to its elevations gives 



the island its peculiar character is its extraordinarily 
strong glaciation. Wherever it has been possible to 
penetrate into the bays, numerous glaciers have been 
observed descending. Cook found five in Possession 
Bay, from which great masses of ice were constantly 
detached and hurled into the sea. In Cumberland Bay, 
and in several intervening bays, glaciers were seen in 
all directions. Besides the two miles wide Ross Glacier 
flowing into Royal Bay, the Weddell Glacier also 
descends into it, while in Little Haven close by, the 
great Cook's Glacier makes its way down, and two 
others do not quite reach the shore. The glaciation 
on the south-west side is even more extensive than that 
on the north-east side ; the former being on the windward 
coast of the island is therefore exposed in the first instance 
to the west winds and their constant precipitation. 
Klutschak reports that in the south-eastern part of the 
island, exactly opposite the neighbourhood of Royal Bay, 
the coast is said to be enclosed by an ice barrier. This 
without further testimony seems hardly credible, and 
assumes a very different structure of this part of the 
island even if the heavier precipitation is taken into 

In spite of the enormous glaciation of the land, it 
must not be supposed to be completely covered with 
ice and snow. During the southern summer of 1882-3 
important elevations in the neighbourhood of Royal Bay 
lost their winter covering; while, on the other hand, in 
particularly sheltered spots, even near the shore, the 
snow lay unmelted the whole summer. At the same 
time moraines pushed far forward in valleys now free 
from ice point to the fact that South Georgia, too, 
as compared with its glacial period has undergone a 
considerable diminution of its glaciation. That the 
glaciers of South Georgia undergo considerable change 
within short periods is proved by the Ross Glacier, 


which in the space of a single year retrograded in the 
centre of its broad front upwards of half a mile. 

With such a decided preponderance of solid pre- 
cipitation as takes place in South Georgia, it is not 
surprising that the larger part finds its way to the sea in 
the form of glaciers. Matters are not quite so bad as 
Cook thought in respect of the absence of flowing water, 
and his assumption that there is a complete lack of 
streams and brooks, nay, even of constantly flowing 
sources on the island, has been confuted by observations 
made in Royal Bay. It is true there are but few actual 
sources ; the character of the subsoil and the enormous 
accumulations of detritus brought down by weather, 
envelop the slopes to such a height that the water 
sinks and spreads, appearing at the foot of the deposits 
without channel or flow. The higher glaciers and snow- 
fields, on the other hand, feed numerous streams that 
have worn " Klamms " in the rocks, and it is just in 
the lower portions of these ravines and valleys that the 
most luxuriant vegetation has developed, so luxuriant that 
members of the German Station give accounts of pastures 
that reminded them of the glorious pastures of the Alps. 

At the beginning of this section it was stated that 
the geological structure of South Georgia seemed to 
point to a close connection with the Cordilleras of South 
America. According to Suess, the extreme eastern spurs 
of the Cordilleras of Tierra del Fuego are built up of slatey 
rocks, clay slate, mica slate and gneiss. So little is 
definitely known of the geological period to which they 
belong, that Darwin even designated them changed layers 
of the chalk formation. Similar conditions are encountered 
in South Georgia. Forster had remarked that at Cook's 
landing place in Possession Bay the surrounding rocks 
consisted of bluish-grey slate in horizontal layers, but 
no further details were obtained till the time of the 
German Station there. In the neighbourhood of Royal 


Bay there lies on the outside towards the coast, primary 
clay slate alternating with layers of phyllite gneiss ; upon 
this follows towards the south clay slate alternating with 
quartz slate, and in the most southern points, near the 
Weddell Glacier, huge yard-deep banks of shale or 
(diabas) tufa and (diabas) breccia, as well as true sandstone, 
occur. As is shown by the local distribution of these 
various rocks, the highest parts of the island investigated 
consist of the latest formations. This in itself is in no 
way remarkable, but the moment attention is paid to the 
stratification the whole aspect is changed. A more or 
less inclined tilt, varying from 20° to 70° of the rocky 
strata towards the south-west, is everywhere apparent, 
therefore counter to the major axis of the island ; the more 
acute angles also are found on the coast, the obtuse ones 
near the interior. This whole system of stratification 
is crossed transversely by slate formations, and Hans 
Thurach, the geologist of the expedition, concluded from 
this, as well as from the fact that many of the layers 
showed only semi-crystalline habitus, that the slates of 
South Georgia are metamorphous, i.e., such as have 
acquired their character through pressure. Fossils were 
nowhere found on the island, and the presence of 
amorphous carbon in microscopic flakes, as they have 
been found in phyllite, primary clay slate, and quartzite, 
is no sufficient proof of previous fossil remains. 

The structure of the south coast is not as yet under- 
stood ; perhaps the island consists of a synclinal fold in 
which the trough of the faults would represent the highest 
ridge of the mountain range, and on the other side of the 
ridge the same rocks would succeed each other in inverted 
order ; perhaps, however, there is no structure of faults. 
Whatever the facts may be, the investigations hitherto 
made have been far too few to allow of even a sketch of 
the geological origin of South Georgia ; one fact, however, 
is certain, that important structural disturbances will have 


to be assumed, and it is possible that this activity has not, 
as yet, entirely ceased. This conclusion may be drawn 
from an interesting observation made by Weddell. He 
had ascended a hill in Adventure Bay for the purpose of 
taking altitudes of the sun ; but, after setting his quicksilver 
horizon, he noticed that although the atmosphere was per- 
fectly still, and he himself was not conscious of any vibra- 
tion, the surface of the quicksilver trembled constantly in a 
lively manner, a phenomenon that can only be accounted 
for on the supposition that some seismic disturbance im- 
perceptible to Weddell himself was taking place. Whether 
beside these -indications of the structure of the rocks 
volcanoes also exist on South Georgia must remain 
doubtful. Klutschak certainly marks some, but these 
are so vague and uncertain that much caution is required 
before coming to any conclusion respecting actual volcanic 


The small group of Clerk's Rocks lying south-east of 
South Georgia in latitude 54° 55' S. and longitude 34° 
46' W., guide us across to the South Sandwich Isles. 
This rocky group, consisting, according to Cook, of three 
or four rocks, seems to be a remnant of a larger island 
gradually abraded and engulfed by the ceaseless activity 
of the surf; indeed this inference is suggested by the 
existence of a submarine plateau at a depth of only 330 
feet spreading beyond the rocks a distance of nearly five 
miles, while the depth between these and South Georgia, 
according to Cook's soundings, must exceed 1,000 feet. 

As the map indicates, the South Sandwich Isles form 
a curve opening to the west, of which the most northerly, 
Sowadowskji Island, is situated in latitude 56° 18' S. and 
longitude 27° 29/ W., while the position of the most 
southerly, Southern Thule, latitude 59° 26' S. and longitude 


27° 14' W., and the most easterly, Saunders Island, is in 
latitude 57° 51' S. and longitude 26° 24/ W. The whole 
group, so far as it is known, consists of sixteen islands and 
cliffs of greater or less extent, none of them having a 
superficial area of any size. Generally several of these 
lie pretty close to one another, separated from the next 
group by a greater distance. At the extreme north are 
the three Traversey Islands, consisting of Sowadowskji, 
Ljeskow and Wysokji Islands. The first of these is a 
volcano that was in activity at the time of Bellingshausen's 
visit. It rises abruptly out of the sea, for at one and a 
half nautical miles from its southern edge no bottom was 
reached at a depth of 760 feet. The centre of the island is 
occupied by an elevated summit under 1,140 feet high r 
according to Bellingshausen's somewhat vague description 
evidently an extinct crater, the south side of which is 
remarkably steep and of a red and yellow colour, caused 
doubtless by sublimated iron chloride and its further 
product iron oxide. The mouth itself, out of which 
immense clouds of smoke rose, accompanied by strong 
gas exhalations, lay at the south-west end of the island, 
which was nearly devoid of snow. The second of the 
islands, Ljeskow, lies in latitude 56° 44/ S. and 27° 42' W. 
Its length from N.N.E. to S.S.W. is about two and a 
half miles, with a breadth of half that distance. The 
southern point bears a blunt cone-shaped mountain, and 
at the time of Bellingshausen's visit the island was com- 
pletely covered with ice and snow. The third member 
of the group, viz., Wysokji, in latitude 56° 41' S. and 
longitude 27° 16' W., is described as circular, steep and 
rocky. The next group consists of Cook's Candlemas 
Isles, three in number, of which the first lies in latitude 
57 9/ S. and longitude 26° 48' W., the second, with a 
circumference of seven and a half miles, in latitude 57° 10' 
S. and longitude 26° 44' W., and the third, fiv& miles in 
circumference, in latitude 57° n' S. and longitude 26° 5 i r 


1 5 1 

W. ; they are all high and covered with snow. Fifty 
miles to the south lies Saunders Island in latitude 57° 
51' S. and longitude 26° 24' W., attaining a circumference 
of about eighteen miles, and appearing high and rocky. 

~ #F° WestlL-.v:Cnetvnr. 


(Vulkcai) gg 






Lichtmess I?' 

1:3000 000. 


Saunders I. 





Map of the South Sandwich Isles (after Dumont d'Urville). 

Both Cook and Bellingshausen describe this island as 
not completely covered with snow, from which the latter 
argued that it is probably affected by volcanic action. 


Cook observed vegetation at the north end of the island, 
suggesting a covering of verdure. Next comes the largest 
member of the group, Montague Island, in latitude 58° 27' 
S., and like Saunders Island, also in longitude 26° 24/ W.. 
an elevated island completely covered with ice and snow, 
and with a circumference of upwards of twenty-eight 
miles. This island is followed by a small group : Bristol 
Island, with three outlying islets to the west, of which 
the outer one, Freezeland Peak, has a high conical 
summit. The position of Bristol Island is to be found 
in about latitude 59° S. and longitude 26° 35' W. Still 
farther south lies Southern Thule, consisting of four lofty 
islands and islets, all covered with snow and ice like the 
preceding group. Nothing has as yet been ascertained 
concerning the structure of these islands, nor indeed of 
any of the South Sandwich Islands, with the exception of 
Sowadowskji, but it seems reasonable to assume that all 
the members of the group are more or less of volcanic 
origin, although also containing non-volcanic rocks. The 
soundings in the region of these isles are so few that it 
is not possible to come to any conclusion respecting the 
direction and the breadth of the submarine base, which 
it is to be presumed these islands have in common. 


Like the South Sandwich Islands, the South Orkneys 
also belong to the least known of the island groups of 
the south-west Atlantic, spite of their comparatively low 
latitude. They have been seen by but few Antarctic 
travellers, and if an acquaintance with their common 
coast line is any test, examined by fewer still. With 
the exception of Powell, their first discoverer, Weddell 
and Dumont d'Urville, no one, not even their last visitor 
Larsen, has given a description of the islands ; and the 
accounts of the three former are exceedingly scanty, and 



contain little beyond a survey of the most important 
promontories. The group consists of two larger and 
several smaller islands, and is surrounded by numerous 
isolated rocks, more or less lofty. The main axis runs 
from east to west in the smaller, Laurie Island, and some- 
what more to the north-west in the larger, Coronation 
Island. Both are separated from each other by a broad 
channel, which is itself again divided by two narrow 
islands lying north and south, Powell Islands, into 
Washington Straits on the east, and the narrower 
Lewthwaite Straits on the west. The easternmost and 
far projecting point of Laurie Island is Cape Dundas, 
in latitude 6o° 57' S. and longitude 43° 55' W. (Weddell 

Map of the South Orkney Islands (after Dumont d'Urville). 

•gives 6o° 47' S. and 43° 36' W.), while the westernmost 
projection is in longitude 44° 45' W. with the same 
latitude. The breadth of the island is from nine to 
eleven miles, its length from twenty-five to twenty-eight 
miles, and the area may therefore be calculated at 235 
to 312 square miles. The island is lofty, for several 
summits of from 2,200 to 3,000 feet high are mentioned, 
but these figures cannot of course be accepted as strictly 
accurate. Towards the coast the descents are steep, 
with the exception of Cape Dundas in the east, where 
it seems lower. All accounts agree as to the nearly 
complete glaciation of the island ; in many parts the 
glaciers reach the sea, and only the very steepest slopes 


are free from ice and snow. Only near Cape Dundas 
was a small amount of vegetation observed on the rocks ; 
Weddell describes it as short turf, while Dumont 
d'Urville considered it to be lichen. To the north of 
the northern end of Laurie Island lie several small 
islands, Saddle Island and Weddell Island, as well as 
numerous cliffs. The boats sent off by D'Urville suc- 
ceeded in landing on Weddell Island, and short as their 
stay was, it was nevertheless of great value to geographical 
science, since it was ascertained that this small island 
and probably therefore the two larger ones, is not 
composed of volcanic rock, but is built up of crystalline 
slate, that is to say, " calcaire silicieuse," and slates which 
slope at an angle of 8o° from N.N.E. to S.S.W. Quartzite 
slate is given instead of the former in another place, and 
this is much more probable than a later fresh-water 
formation of silicious chalk. Whether this angle indicates 
an actual fall of strata or possible transverse stratification 
is not obvious ; but it is satisfactory to know that the 
geological structure of Tierra del Fuego probably re- 
appears so far to the south-east and indeed in undoubted 
disturbed deposition. 

After Laurie Island follows, as already indicated, 
Washington Straits, separated from Lewthwaite Straits 
by the extended chain of the Powell Islands which is 
severed in the middle. Its western shore outlines the 
largest member of the group of the South Orkneys, 
Coronation Island, so called in honour of the coronation 
of George IV. Its easternmost point is situated about 
latitude 6o° 55' S. and longitude 45° 20' W., the western- 
most, Cape Return, in latitude 6o° 43' S. and longitude 
46° 22' W. Cape Conception projects farthest north, to 
latitude 6o° 32' S., while the southernmost point is close 
to the most eastern. What has been said of Laurie 
Island is equally true of this one, indeed all who have 
visited it describe it as yet more wild and desolate in 


its characteristics than the South Shetland Isles. The 
greatest elevations are found in the east, where a 
mountain above 5,000 feet high is said to rise above Cape 
Bennett, the north-eastern point of the island ; towards 
the west they are lower and flatter, all, however, equally 
buried in ice and snow. On the east coast a small fjord- 
like bay penetrates into the land, Spence Harbour, and 
glaciers here descend from all sides. According to 
Powell's account, they nevertheless do not reach the 
water, but leave a margin of some feet quite clear, even 
apparently at high water. It is otherwise in the north- 
west where the mass of ice, gradually descending from a 
lower region, forms an abrupt perpendicular ice barrier 
as coast line. The island is probably from thirty-seven 
to forty miles in length, and has an extreme breadth of 
from fifteen to eighteen miles with an area of 560 to 625 
square miles. 

The island group is surrounded at some considerable 
distance by single isolated rocks of which the largest 
and most distant project longitudinally towards the west. 
These are the Inaccessible Rocks in latitude 6o° 42' S. 
and longitude 47° 12' W., three in number, and completely 
inaccessible islets of diminutive size, probably like the 
others evidences of a previous extension of the principal 
islands. The action of the strong surf has here been 
increased beyond that of the eastern side by the prevalent 
west winds, the westward current, and the action of the 
floating ice. 


Considerably more extensive than the South Orkney 
Isles is their western continuation, the widely spread 
group of the South Shetlands, the first Antarctic discovery 
of the nineteenth century. Situated between the fifty- 
third and sixty-third meridians of west longitude, and 


latitude 6i' to 6$\' S., they fall, on closer observation, into 
three groups. The eastern one, separated by a striking 
distance from the central group, clearly represents the 
link with the South Orkneys, while the western sub- 
division is not widely separated from the middle islands by 
the much narrower Boyd Straits. In common with the 
chain formed by the South Orkneys, and corresponding to 
them, they have a distinct direction : first, in the eastern 
group, from east to west ; and then, in the central group, 
from east north-east to west south-west. At a trifling 
distance from these on the south side are three islands 
with an essentially different structure, while the western 
subdivision consists of two islands, of which the southern 
one is a definite continuation of the central group, and 
the northern one projects to the north. 

The eastern group consists of two larger islands, 
Clarence Island and Elephant Island, so, called from 
the great number of sea elephants formerly found there. 
Between the two lies Cornwallis Island, somewhat to the 
north, and at the southern end of Elephant Island, though 
at some distance, lie the four islets Narrow Island, Gibb 
Island, Aspland Island and O'Brien Island. Clarence 
Island, which is approximately circular in form, lies on 
parallel 6i° i6' S. and meridian 54° io' W. Though of 
no great size (30 miles are mentioned as its circumference 
and about eleven miles as its greatest length) it attains a 
considerable elevation. This is estimated at 4,300 feet, 
rising abruptly from the sea and forming several steep 
summits, of which the most considerable seems to be in 
the west. The whole island is covered with snow, with 
the exception of the highest points and the precipitous 
descent on the coast, where the angle is too great to 
afford a support to the snow, and glaciers descend on 
all sides. Nothing is reported of any landing on the 
island, and for this reason nothing is known of its 
geological structure ; it is possible to conjecture that 







together with Elephant Island it differs from the structure 
of the South Orkneys, and belongs to the southern chain 
of volcanic islands ; indeed its anomalous outlines would 
support such a theory. Of the structure of the tiny 
island, Cornwallis Island, situated to the north of the 
strait between the other two, nothing whatever is known. 

Map of the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago (after Stieler's Hand Atlas). 

It appears as though it had been violently detached from 
the north-east end of Elephant Island. The latter again 
bears some resemblance in its outline to the South 
Orkneys, like the members of the central South Shetland 
group ; it stretches lengthways from E.N.E. to W.S.W.,, 


broadens out between longitude 54° 4c/ and 55° 35' W., 
and latitude 6i° 1' and 6i° 18' S., has an extreme length 
of about thirty miles, with an open, wide bay at its 
southern end. This island also is covered with numerous 
abrupt and steep summits of which the highest are said 
to be upwards of 3,000 feet high, frequently free from 
snow. The lower and more level land on the contrary 
is completely snow-covered, and sends numerous glaciers 
down to the sea. The west side of the island is more 
especially surrounded by cliffs, which are continued in the 
four islands before-mentioned — Narrow, Gibb, Aspland 
and O'Brien Islands — all of small area but comparatively 
high and covered with snow. Narrow has a lofty conical 
mountain almost detached from the island ; on O'Brien 
three or four rise — so that, according to D'Urville's 
comparison, the islet resembles the upturned roots of 
a molar tooth. 

A strait of perhaps seventy-five miles in breadth, and 
still unnamed, leads across to the central group of the 
South Shetlands, which extends from Cape South Fore- 
land on King George's Island in longitude 57° 3?) W. 
to the West Cape of Snow Island in longitude 6i° 20' 
W., and from the North Foreland of King George's 
Island in latitude 6i° 50' S. to the southern extremity 
of Snow Island in latitude 62° 52' S., in a chain of about 
150 miles in length. It is obvious that the whole at one 
time formed a single island which has been severed by 
channels crossing the major axis at right angles, into 
portions closely ranged side by side. One is reminded 
of Nova Zembla on a small scale, and its division by 
the Matotschkin Schar : whether, however, the transverse 
channels are to be regarded as fjord-like passages or as 
resulting from techtonic action, it is at present quite im- 
possible even remotely to determine. Altogether there are 
two larger islands, five smaller, and a countless number of 
the smallest islets and dunes, which are characteristically 


•closely scattered along the entire north-west coast of the 
chain, while the south coast is almost entirely free from 
them. The different depths correspond to this diversity, 
for in the north-west among the cliffs they indicate the 
existence of an extensive shallow sea, soundings showing 
a depth of only 500 feet at a distance of ten miles from 

Proceeding from north-east to south-west the first 
island is King George's Island, the largest of all, about 
fifty-five miles long and sixteen miles broad at its widest 
part. Unfortunately, very little is known of this island, 
or indeed of any other of the group. The south coast is 
comparatively high and rocky, but seems to have no 
elevation of any importance, as 750 to 1,000 feet are given 
as approximate measurements. Towards the north and 
east the land gradually descends, and in this direction 
a few small brooks, already observed by Smith and 
Bellingshausen, find their way from thawing ice and snow. 
The greater heights are covered with snow, and probably 
send down glaciers, but no mention is made of these. 
Several favourable bays and harbours are found, especially 
on the south side, while the north coast is rendered 
insecure by its numerous cliffs. It would lead us too far 
to name all the harbours and anchoring grounds sought 
out and named by the seal-hunters of the earlier part of 
the century, especially as their positions have not all been 
correctly ascertained and verified. 

Field Straits separate this island from Nelson Island, 
a smaller island of whose structure and characteristics 
nothing is known. Nelson Straits divide it from the 
still smaller Robert Island, which rises from north to 
south like King George's Island and is probably lofty. 
The same description applies to Greenwich Island lying 
between English Straits on the east and MacFarlane 
Straits on the west, with a somewhat uneven surface. 
All these islands are thickly covered with snow even in 


summer in spite of their relatively low elevation. Larsen 
landed in the beginning of December, 1893, on Greenwich 
Island, and found only the flat centre of the island free 
from snow, while elsewhere the snow descends to ninety 
feet above sea-level. It is, however, to be presumed 
that in January and February larger and more extensive 
areas are free from snow. 

The next island, Livingston Island, is the second in 
size of the whole group, and also the best known. It is 
much articulated on the north side, and also on the north- 
east, nor are deep bays lacking on the southern side. 
The orographic structure exactly coincides with the other 
members of the group already described, for the most 
important elevations occur in the north-east and in the 
south, with a gentle descent towards the north. Near the 
southern shore lies Barnard's Peak, with a height said to 
be 3,400 to 3,800 feet, the most important summit of the 
central South Shetland group. The glaciation seems 
very powerful ; glaciers everywhere descending into the 
sea, and of one of these Weddell even states that it ex- 
tended right across the island. Powell also reports that 
South Bay or Johnson's Harbour, otherwise very favour- 
ably situated on the south-west coast, is rendered positively 
dangerous by the glaciers descending into it and the 
masses of ice constantly falling. Bellingshausen found 
the north-west coast, on the contrary, tolerably free from 
ice. The remaining islands are unimportant : Rugged 
Island, as its name indicates, high and abrupt, Snow 
Island, on the other hand, the western member, low, 
monotonous, and covered with snow. D'Urville found 
the snow dirty in appearance — probably the easy approach 
to it renders it a haunt of the penguins. 

Scanty as are the data for the orographic structure of 
the chain of islands just described, they are nevertheless 
fuller than those relating to their geological structure, 
though fortunately these are not entirely wanting. Though 


meagre, they are sufficient to confute an opinion that has 
lately been advanced, according to which the South Shet- 
lands are supposed to be a volcanic range. The very first 
discoverers who visited the group brought back specimens 
to their own countries, and though these have been 
examined only in regard of the minerals visible to the 
naked eye, while scarcely anything is communicated 
concerning their matrix, yet various conclusions can be 
arrived at from them. Moreover, accounts are not 
entirely lacking of the most important rocks and stones 
found there. When Smith landed for the first time on 
King George's Island, not far from the north-east end, 
he found the ground consisted of blue-grey slate. The 
writer of the account of the voyage in the Edinburgh 
Philosophical Journal was of opinion, according to the 
testimony of Smith's steersman, that there might be horn- 
blende slate or chlorite slate ; meantime it is not clear 
whether this applies also to the landing-place. So much 
is probably correct, that at least the northern flank of the 
largest island of the group is built up, not of eruptive but 
of slate rocks, perhaps the same that are found on the 
South Orkneys. It may also be concluded that the 
northern coasts of the other islands are of the same 
structure, as the outlines are identical, a difference in the 
geology being invariably associated with a difference 
in the form of the coast outlines. Another statement, 
which must, however, not be hastily accepted, though a 
confirmation of it would be welcome, is that coal has been 
found in superabundance. Details are not given ; it 
therefore remains doubtful whether it is driftwood that 
has become peat, or actual coal, or anthracitic layers in 
the shale and slate. In the Chilian Cordilleras on the 
coast carboniferous strata of the upper chalk formation 
occur above crystalline slate, and tertiary peat in the 
neighbourhood of the Straits of Magellan ; but it seems 

scarcely reasonable to assume that therefore the South 



Shetland Islands have tertiary coal formations, even 
though Seymour Island has tertiary formations. More- 
over, the statement itself is at best a doubtful one. For 
the present it is sufficient to determine that the north- 
west flank of the South Shetlands evidently consists of 
crystalline slates, that the descent in the north to the 
level of the sea is very gradual, that per contra the 
greatest elevations are found on the south-east coast, 
that numerous islets, rocks, and cliffs are scattered along 
the north-west coasts — perhaps the remaining indications 
of more extensive land, submerged by the action of the 
waves — that the south-east flank is entirely devoid of 
these detached rocks, and that for this reason the depth 
of the sea on this side probably increases much more 
rapidly than on the other. If all this be taken into 
account, and it is borne in mind that the southern flank 
is accompanied by active volcanoes, the thought arises 
that the South Shetlands consist of either a contorted 
or non-contorted mountain chain, the northern portion of 
which, subsiding to the W.N.W., has remained standing, 
while the southern has sunk into a chasm on which the 
volcanic islands we now see arose simultaneously. It 
would be highly interesting if these conditions could be 
carefully investigated — an undertaking that might be 
successfully accomplished by occasionally wintering here, 
even if there were no actual polar expedition set on foot. 

The volcanic islands referred to play an important 
part in the later geological history of this region ; 
they are situated on the south side of the central group 
of the South Shetland Isles, to which they form a parallel 
range. The charts give three : Bridgeman Island, Middle 
Island, and last, and by tar the most interesting of all, 
Deception Island. 

The smallest of these volcanic islands, Bridgeman 
Island, is also the farthest distant from the non- volcanic 
members of the group. According to existing surveys 


it lies in latitude 62° io' S. and longitude 56° 30' W., 
approximately thirty-five miles from the nearest point 
of the remaining islands, the South Foreland of King 
George's Island. The circumference is small, but seems 
subject to variations brought about by volcanic activity, 
as neither the estimates of its size nor those of its 
elevation and outline correspond with one another. 
While Powell in the early twenties states that he saw 
a great crater at an altitude of about seventy-five feet 
above sea-level on the west side of the island, where 
it is 180 feet high, Dumont d'Urville gives the height 
of the island as 480 to 500 feet, with a greatest diameter 
of something over a nautical mile and a circumference of 
three to four nautical miles. All accounts on the other 
hand agree in stating that every visit to the island 
proved it to be in a state of solfatara activity, and also 
that the several emissions of gases proceeded from fissures 
mostly near the coast, rising from it, according to D'Urville, 
to a height of about 300 feet and upwards. All these 
active manifestations took place on the west side of the 
island, which, like the northern and western coasts, rises 
steep and abrupt from the sea ; the south side alone is 
lower and flatter, and thousands of penguins were found 
on it. The island is described as conical; Wilkes, with 
whom D'Urville agrees, calls its shape that of a flattened 
cupola. The sides seemed to be furrowed by the cor- 
rugations so characteristic of stratified volcanoes, but this 
is probably true of only the more loosely constructed 
parts. Near the summit streams of lava are clearly 
indicated, and over them glowing red ashes or tufa ; the 
slopes are of the same deep red tint, and have probably 
been entirely disintegrated by the action of the solfataras. 
All who have visited the island testify to the suffocating 
fumes of the gases exhaled. No landing has as yet been 
effected. The boats of D'Urville's expedition were com- 
pelled to content themselves with sailing round it at no 


great distance ; not a trace ot snow was anywhere seen r 
and on the south side even some vegetation was observed. 
The accompanying view by D'Urville is unfortunately 
not clear enough to give a good idea of the island. 

At some distance from Bridgeman Island, nearly 
ninety miles to the W.S.W., the charts indicate Middle 
Island, frequently described as elevated, in latitude 62° 
50' S. and longitude 59° 30' W., some fifteen miles distant 
from Greenwich Island. Curiously enough, nothing 
further is anywhere communicated, and of the travellers 
D'Urville, Wilkes, and last of all even Larsen, not 
one got a sight of it when in close proximity to the 

Bridgeman Island (after Dumont d'Urville). 

position laid down. Indeed it is open to conjecture that 
Middle Island has no actual existence, and is to be 
explained by an early view of one of the lofty summits 
of Louis-Philippe Land. Seen perhaps from one of the 
South Shetland Islands it would have the appearance of 
being isolated, and might therefore be entered on the 
chart as an island. On Weddell's chart, which marks 
both Bridgeman and Deception Islands, Middle Island 
does not appear at all. 

Farthest to the west, and at the same time the nearest 
neighbour to Livingston Island, nearly four miles off in 
the northern chain of the South Shetland Isles, lies 
Deception Island, in many respects one of the most 



interesting objects to be found in the Antarctic regions. 
It is one of the most remarkable, and at the same time 
one of the largest, crater islands on our earth. The 
circumference of the island, whose centre is in latitude 
62° 56' S. and longitude 6o° 4c/ W., is about thirty miles 
according to Webster, to whom we are indebted for an 
account of Foster's voyages ; the diameter from north to 
south about twelve miles, that from east to west about 
nine miles. Within this space a considerable portion of 

Map of Deception Island (after Dumont cTUrville). 

the area is -occupied by the inner bay, where the hollow 
of the crater lies under the surface of the sea. This inner 
basin, nearly elliptical in outline, has a diameter of five 
to six miles, and a circumference of thirteen to fourteen 
miles ; it opens towards the sea on the south-west through 
one very narrow channel of only 550 feet across. The 
depth of this basin increases rapidly from eighteen feet 
at the entrance to over 1,140 feet in the centre. (This is 
Powell's sounding ; Kendall gives only 580 feet.) The 


rim of the basin is on the whole more level than the outer 
circle of the island, except at the western entrance to this 
crater bay, where a steep cliff of about j&y feet descends 
perpendicularly into the water. The shores have many 
indentations, some being again the ruins of smaller 
craters, though other spent craters lie apparently close to 
the shore without visible communication with the great 
basin. Thus Lieutenant Johnson of Wilkes' squadron 
found a small crater of 1,400 feet in diameter in the 
background of the bay ; it was separated from the great 
basin by a rampart 394 feet wide, and rising gradually to 
a height of eighteen feet, while it fell away steep towards 
the inside, which was full of water rising to the same level 
as the surface outside. 

According to Webster, the enclosure of the great 
basin is irregular in form ; it is not only broader but more 
elevated on the eastern side, attaining a height of 1,575 
feet (Webster), or even 1,770 feet (Kendall) in Iceberg 
Hill. The structure of the island is exclusively volcanic, 
and exhibits many peculiarities. So far as Foster's 
investigations indicate, the walls of the collapsed crater 
consist for the greater part of loose eruptive matter, dark 
ashes, partly solid, as tufas, sands and slack, also pumice 
stones, all clearly stratified. Basalt, solid and porous, 
though only very rarely, also obsidian and perlit. These 
certainly testify against the basaltic nature of the lavas, 
since perlit is mentioned as occurring in the basalt. An 
accurate estimate of these rocks could manifestly be 
made only after thorough chemical and microscopical 
investigation. Minerals of non-volcanic origin, either as 
self-existent or enclosed in other substances, are not 
mentioned. The whole material of which Deception 
Island is built up is, moreover, exposed to the great 
changes and the destruction brought about by wind and 
weather, and by the activity of the solfataras and the 
fumaroles of the volcanic ruin. At the time of Foster's 





visit, he had an opportunity of observing both these forms 
of volcanic manifestation, though no actual eruption 
producing ashes and lava took place. On the other 
hand numerous fumaroles, especially on the shores of the 
basin, were seen, from which hissing jets of steam escaped, 
breaking through the masses of ash and tufa washed down 
from the hills ; near these were numerous hot springs 
with a temperature of i90'4° F. It is interesting to find 
these steam jets and hot-water springs piercing a com- 
pletely hard-frozen surface, as was discovered by digging- 
down close to the openings. In the neighbourhood of 
these sources and of the solfataras, a dense layer of 
milk-white gypsum, partly crystallised, was found, also 
sulphur and alum ; among the gases ejected sulphuretted 
hydrogen seemed to preponderate. The fumaroles and 
solfataras were not confined to the shores of the inner 
basin, they were seen in numbers on the higher summits, 
which were constantly veiled in clouds of steam. This 
was especially the case with Iceberg Hill, the cap of 
which consisted of hot clay containing sulphur and alum 
efflorescence. The changes wrought in the original 
substances are not, however, confined to the immediate 
neighbourhood of the active emission of gas and steam, 
but everywhere on the island there were wide and often 
extensive tracts transformed into masses of hard bright 
red clay through the action of disintegrating processes. 
This clay is found in a solid and porous state, partly 
enclosing crystals. In some places a very interesting 
alternation of layers of undecomposed ashes and snow 
was found, in others ice and snow alone seemed to cover 
the summits of the hills, and again hillocks of pure ashes 
lay between them. Webster does not attribute these 
conditions to eruptions of ashes of which none were 
seen, but rather to the activity of the violent tempests 
of the west winds, which set in motion large masses of 
light eruptive matter as well as snow. Besides these 


forces another, that of flowing water, is particularly active, 
whether as heavy rain during the short summer, or in 
tremendous masses of melted water descending from the 
island itself and cleaving the slopes in all directions with 
ravines forming temporary watercourses. 

In its main outlines Webster's account corresponds 
to the descriptions of Lieutenant Johnson. But although 
the latter landed as late as the end of March, while Foster 
had arrived in January, he seems to have seen considerably 
less snow. This was also the experience of Dumont 
d'Urville ; he certainly did not land, but he remarked 
that not only the slopes but even the summits were free 
from snow. Smiley finally reports that the whole south 
side of the island was in full volcanic activity in February, 
1842, "on fire," and that as many as thirteen active 
centres were seen. This is the last account of Deception 
Island, and later accounts are entirely wanting. 

Boyd Straits, about thirty miles across, separate the 
last two and westernmost members of the South Shetlands 
from the middle group. It is a curious coincidence that 
the northern one, Smith Island, should be the loftiest of 
the entire group, while Low Island, the southern one, is 
apparently the lowest. It is equally remarkable that the 
latter lies exactly on the line of direction of the central 
main group, while Smith Island, obviously also of entirely 
different geological structure, seems to be projected north. 
Low Island, latitude 63° 15' S. longitude 62° 15' W., 
which appears to share the peculiarities of the rest of the 
island chain in being a slate formation surrounded by 
numerous rocks, is not described in any of the sources 
available for information. The name leads to the in- 
ference that the island is flat like its neighbour, Snow 
Island, on the other side of Boyd Straits, which it also 
resembles in point of size. Smith Island, named after 
its discoverer, is as already stated very different. Lying 
in latitude 62° 55' S. and longitude 62° 35' W., it rises on 


all sides abrupt and steep from the sea to considerable 
heights, the principal, Mount Foster, to the south-west 
of the island being in round numbers 6,200 feet high, 
while Mount Pisco, near the south coast, is estimated to 
be upwards of 4,250 feet high. Only in one place was 
a small flat shore found, and on this Weddell was able 
to land. The whole island is completely covered with 
ice and snow, with the exception of the steepest slopes 
where no support exists. Doubtless the strong glaciation 
of this island, as compared with the other members of the 
South Shetlands, is accounted for by its elevation, and 
this theory is borne out by the thicker covering being 
on the southern side. As to its geological structure we 
are almost in the dark ; Bellingshausen alone mentions 
vertical strata, but whether this fact indicates a powerful 
upheaval of existing strata, or the columnar severance in 
a surface of volcanic eruptive rock, it is impossible to 
determine. The latter appears the more probable, be- 
cause, as already stated, the mere outlines of the island 
seem to testify to volcanic origin, which would account 
both for the tilt in the stratification and for its remark- 
able height. 

We here leave the island chain of the South Shetlands, 
and turn to the more extensive tracts of land and of island 
groups lying to their south. 


Of all the tracts of land hitherto discovered in Antarctic 
regions none in the course of time has afforded so many 
surprises, nor undergone such fundamental reconstruction 
on maps and charts as the islands collectively called in 
modern times the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago. The oldest 
charts, those of Powell and Weddell, indicate a vaguely 
outlined coast to the south of the South Shetland Islands^ 


running in the direction from E.N.E. to W.S.W. in 
longitude 56° 30' to 6i° 30' W., and leaving a great gap 
in the middle. The western portion of this coast bears 
the name Trinity Land, with Hope Island off the other 
still unnamed eastern coast. At the present time all this 
is changed ; in place of such a coast extending in one 
unbroken line to Graham's Land in the south-west, an 
island group is found, intersected by numerous straits and 
channels, and entirely separated from Graham's Land, 
with an area considerably smaller than the imaginary 
tracts of land of former days, though it must be confessed 
that even this modern discovery has been insufficiently 

The Dirk Gerritz Archipelago is separated from the 
South Shetland Isles by Bransfield Straits, the breadth 
of which varies from twenty-eight to seventy-eight miles. 
The narrowest part is in the west, where the islets in the 
north of Hughes Gulf approach Low Island ; the widest 
part lies between Joinville Island — the easternmost 
member of the Archipelago — and King George's Island. 
At the western end isolated rocks, the Austin Rocks and 
the Kendall Rocks, rise in the middle of the channel, the 
former between Low Island and Trinity Land, the latter 
between Trinity Land and Deception Island. Unfor- 
tunately no information exists concerning the depth of the 
water in the straits, and therefore it is impossible to draw 
any inference concerning their structure. The only known 
sounding, that of Dumont d'Urville to the north-west of 
Mount Jacquinot, and therefore much nearer to Louis- 
Philippe Land than to the South Shetland Isles, shows 950 
feet ; this is a somewhat greater depth than that met with 
at the same distance north of the South. Shetland Isles. 

So far as our present knowledge goes, the Dirk 
Gerritz Archipelago is composed of a number of larger 
and smaller islands lying approximately, though not 
completely, parallel to the South Shetland Isles, as may 


be inferred from the latitude of Bransfield Straits. The 
names of the larger islands beginning at the east are : 
Joinville Island, Louis- Philippe Land, Trinity Land — 
reducible to a group of smaller islands if the latest 
accounts by Larsen are accepted — and Palmer's Land. 
Dallmann's discoveries had already established the 
separation between Palmer's Land and Graham's Land. 
It is not improbable that later voyages will prove Palmer's 
Land also to be another group of islands. The whole 
island chain is separated in the south from Graham's 
Land by comparatively broad straits, whose western end, 
Bismarck Straits, fifteen miles wide, was explored by 
Dallmann in 1874. The apparently far broader eastern 
end was seen by Larsen, but has hitherto received no 

It is convenient to begin the examination of the 
islands of the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago with Joinville 
Island as the most northerly and easterly. Its length 
between the eastern point, Cape Moody, longitude about 
55° 5' W., and the western, Cape Kinness, longitude close 
upon 56° 45' W., is fifty-five miles in round numbers, 
while the extreme northern point, Point des Francois is 
in latitude 62° 59/ S., and the southern, not yet named, 
in latitude 63° 22' S. From the Point des Franqais the 
coast extends E.S.E. as far as Cape Fitzroy, a striking 
landmark, broken into just before the cape by a deep 
bay, which impressed Ross as very suitable for a harbour. 
From Cape Fitzroy the coast takes a south-easterly 
direction to Cape Moody, and then in a shallow curve 
sweeps round the foot of Mount Percy, the greatest 
elevation on the island. From Cape Alexander the 
trend is to the west, Gibson Bay, which is deep, breaking 
the coast line. Cape Kinness, as stated previously, forms 
the western point. It is joined to the main island by a 
low and narrow isthmus which was not observed by 
Dumont d'Urville ; he consequently set down the cape 


as an island, which he named Rosamel Island, being 
confirmed in his error by a deep bay from the north 
which nearly severs the cape from the peninsula. With 
the exception of this break the coast line again extends 
north-east back to Point des Francais. The whole island 
is surrounded by a great number of rocks and rocky 
islets ; a larger one, Dundee Island, lies off the south, 
separated from the main island by a channel of which 
the western section, called Active Sound, extends north- 
east towards Gibson Bay, while the far longer eastern 
part extends S.S.E. and bears the name of Firth of Tay. 
The southern point of Dundee Island is Cape Purvis, 
named by Ross, beyond which Paulet Island and its 
smaller neighbour Eden Island project. The channel 
itself is about thirty miles long, two to two and a half 
miles broad in the western part, and contains somewhat 
considerable depths, probably over 540 feet ; in its eastern 
portion its breadth is upwards of six miles. Dundee 
Island is thirty-four miles long with an average breadth 
of over four miles. 

On the east side of Joinville Island, and at some 
considerable distance from it, are the outlying Danger 
Islets of which the southernmost, Darwin Islet, lies at 
a distance of fifteen miles from Cape Moody. Altogether 
there seems to be seven, of which two, however, are mere 
cliffs to which other cliffs are added close in shore. The 
whole north coast, too, is fringed with rocks, and last of 
all, east of Cape Fitzroy, comes a small, elevated, cone- 
shaped island, which Ross, from its resemblance to the 
European volcano, named Etna Islet. 

The surface of Joinville Island exhibits a striking 
difference between the west and the east. While the 
whole western portion is low and flat, and scarcely above 
325 feet high at its greatest elevation — especially on the 
south side, where, however, one steep hill called D'Urville's 
Monument by Ross, rises on the coast of Active Sound 


to a height of 490 to 590 feet — the eastern half of the 
island is occupied by Mount Percy to which Ross assigns 
a height in round numbers of 3,600 feet. This mountain 
is like a fiat cupola in form, from which two steep rocky 
cones rise, and these according to Ross were entirely free 
from snow. A few officers thought they saw clouds of 
smoke rising from the summits ; Ross, on the contrary, 
was of opinion that this appearance was caused either by 
clouds or by snow-drift. Meanwhile there is a probability 
that careful investigation might prove Mount Percy to be 
a volcano. The whole island is completely covered with 
ice and snow. On the south side the inland ice descends 
into Active Sound, forming deep clefts in coming from 
the plateau of the island, and these, of course, parallel to 
the coast line ; the mass of ice enters the sea as a rampart 
upwards of fifty-nine in height. Farther to the east iso- 
lated " nunatak " l above the ice have been observed from 
the Sound, and Gibson Bay is equally girt in ; only one 
rocky peninsula, Cape Alexander, about 200 feet high, is 
free from ice. Here clear geological lines form a profile 
that might have given some information concerning the 
geological structure of the island, but unfortunately it has 
been observed only from a distance, and even then not 
by an expert. Charles Donald, the medical officer of 
the Active relates that the rocks of which Cape 
Alexander is composed in general appear black, hard 
and crystalline. This mass is, however, traversed by two 
distinct narrow layers of softer, slate-like rock, sloping 
south at an angle of 45°, and recognisable by their light 
brown colour. Immediately below them lie — and here 
the data are somewhat vague — numerous fiat, angular 
stones, which are to be regarded as an accumulation of 
ddbris, but for the rest correspond to the before-men- 

1 Originally a Greenland expression for rocks appearing in the 
inland ice. 



tioned strata. The dark colour of the upper rock, here 
and there changed to orange, Donald attributes to the 
presence of oxide of iron ; it is quite as probable that it 
is caused by a lichen which here, as elsewhere in these 
regions, covers the rocks. On the farther side of Cape 
Alexander the inland ice rises steep to the double summit 
of Mount Percy, and the height of the ice wall here, 
near Cape Alexander, is doubtless upwards of 200 feet. 
Towards the east it diminishes, and does not appear to 
border the whole east coast, for Ross tells of a glacier, 
several nautical miles broad, which descended to the sea 
from a height of 985 to 1,300 feet, and ended in a barrier 
90 to 100 feet high, in front of which Ross observed the 
largest accumulation of icebergs he had ever seen. 

Similar conditions obtain in Dundee Island, although 
the absence of such lofty elevations brings with it the 
absence of the deep and universal ice-covering met with in 
Joinville Island. The ground nowhere rises above 160 
feet, and may, therefore, as compared with its extent, be 
regarded as very flat. The ice covering, broken only by 
small clefts across the line of fracture, descends very 
gradually to the sea, forming ice walls of only twenty- 
seven to forty-eight feet high. In one place on the 
north-west of the island, Active Sound, Donald found a 
level beach slightly covered with snow and of a peculiar 
greenish-brown colour, probably a growth of lichen. The 
shingle here consisted of red and grey granite, sandstone, 
conglomerate, and eruptive rock, and further inland bones 
of whales in a state of decomposition were found. These 
finds are of the greatest interest, for even if the rocks were 
found on layers of secondary formation, they nevertheless 
prove that adjoining sedimentary rocks cannot be far 
distant, and afford an indication that the tracts south of 
Drake's Straits are obviously fragments of more extensive 
country at a previous period. Whether the bones of 
whales found farther in the interior are to be regarded 


as an evidence of a recent negative change in the coast 
(a rise of the land) it is as yet impossible to determine, 
but it is worthy of note as corresponding to similar finds 
in the South Shetland Islands. It is to be regretted that 
Donald had no opportunity of examining the rock near 
Dundee Island, and that of Cape Alexander, for decided 
opinions might then have been arrived at concerning the 
structure of the two islands which seem so closely con- 
nected. So much, however, may be affirmed, that the 
inclined strata observed by Donald on Cape Alexander 
— provided they are composed of crystalline slate or 
precipitate rock — decidedly point to structural disturbances 
such as are very likely to occur in the neighbourhood of 

Of the smaller islands surrounding Joinville Island, 
Paulet Island, some 720 to 750 feet high, the south- 
eastern continuation of Dundee Island, as also a hitherto 
unnamed island 300 feet high to the west of Dundee 
Island, show only a comparatively slight covering of 
snow. The brownish-green hue noticed in Dundee 
Island is met with in both. Larsen indeed relates that 
on his visit the first island, which gave him the impression 
of being a volcano, was quite free from snow ; according 
to his account it descends almost perpendicularly on the 
north-east and is brick-red. The Danger Islands seem 
more deeply covered with snow, except where the 
descents are too precipitous. Etna Island farther north 
is also thickly covered with snow. 

The accounts of the much larger Louis- Philippe Land 
are far less complete and satisfactory than those available 
for an acquaintance with Joinville Island. Louis-Philippe 
Land is conjectured to be the largest member of the Dirk 
Gerritz Archipelago, but complete ignorance still reigns 
as to its western coast. The northernmost point, the 
point also nearest to Joinville Island, is Mount Bransfield, 
in about latitude 63° 7' S. and longitude 56° 55' W. 



From this point the coast descending in terraces extends 
to the entrance to the broad Orleans Channel in latitude 
63° 30' S. and longitude 58° 35' W., but beyond this it is 
entirely unknown. At Cape Foster, latitude 64° 27' S., 
longitude 58° 7' W., the coast returns to the former horizon 
and extends thence in an easterly direction, on the whole, 
as far as Cape Lockyer. Here an immense mass of ice, 
descending from Mount Haddington, reaches from the 
coast right across to Snow Islan d,and apparently connects 

Louis- Philippe Land (after Dumont d'Urville). 

the mainland with the island, from which it would otherwise 
be separated by Admiralty Bay. Seymour Island may 
be regarded as a prolongation of Snow Land towards 
the north-east and terminates in Cape Seymour, latitude 
64° 13' S., longitude 56° 32' W. Towards Admiralty Bay 
Cockburn Island lies near the northern end of Seymour 
Island. The circular sweep of the foot of Mount 
Haddington constitutes the south-eastern as well as 
the southern boundary of Louis-Philippe Land. North 
of Mount Haddington, Sydney Herbert Bay, with its 



deep elliptical curve, ends in Cape Gordon, latitude 63 
5c/ S., longitude 57° 20' W. ; it is fifteen miles across and 
extends the same distance inland. From Cape Gage to 
Cape Corry, at no great distance, the coast continues in 
a northerly direction, then E. to E.N.E. as far as opposite 
Dundee Island, and at length, broken by several small 
bays, northwards until Mount Bransfield is again reached. 
The wide bay which is thus framed in by Louis- Philippe 
Land on the south and west, and by Joinville Island and 
Dundee Island on the north and north-east, received the 
name of Erebus and Terror Bay from Ross. 

The major axis of Louis-Philippe Land may be taken 
to run either from north to south, or from N.N.E. 
to S.S.W., and to have a length of about 100 to 115 
miles ; so long as the course of the western coast remains 
unexplored, it is impossible to estimate the extent of the 
island from east to west. 

In contrast with the low and flat north-western portion 
of Joinville Island, the north coast of Louis-Philippe Land 
has elevations of some importance. Mount Bransfield, 
already frequently cited as the most northern point, is a 
conical mountain of 2,000 feet in round numbers. The 
land extends uniformly high to the south and west to 
the point where the coast takes a southern direction, and 
Mount Jacquinot, also conical in form, rises to a height 
of 2,000 feet and upwards. The character of the land 
now changes in so far as a mountain chain, extending 
south-west, takes the place of the isolated summits pre- 
viously described, ending with the greatest height on 
the north coast, Mount d'Urville, 3,000 feet. The land, 
indistinctly seen, extends farther west to the entrance 
of the Orleans Channel. With the exception of steep 
mountain tops and isolated capes projecting into the sea, 
the whole northern coast of Louis-Philippe Land is 
completely glaciated, and in nearly every direction the 
inland ice reaches the sea, standing above the surface in 



a perpendicular barrier. Unfortunately D'Urville did not 
approach sufficiently near to the coast to observe the 
details of the glaciation, which doubtless exhibits many 
marked disturbances in consequence of the steep descent 
of the ice. The remarkably numerous dunes by which 
the coast is surrounded are more or less free from snow ; 
so is Astrolabe Island fourteen miles off. As little is 
known of the geological structure of this part of Louis- 

Mount Haddington and Cape Gage (after Ross). 

Philippe Land as of the surface of the inland ice, since 
D'Urville did not avail himself of the favourable oppor- 
tunity of landing on Astrolabe Island ; neither did he 
examine the rubble of the icebergs frequently bearing 
debris, nor is the height of the ice rampart indicated, nor 
the size of the freshly detached icebergs. The dull 
thundering reports of apparently yielding ice barriers 
were frequently heard, but no actual detachment was 
ever observed. 


No information whatever exists as to the whole tract 
between the north coast of Louis-Philippe Land and 
Mount Haddington, towering above every other object 
in the south. Towards the east, opposite Dundee Island, 
it appears rather flat, while there is a continuous rise 
towards the south. The southern portion of the island 
is entirely occupied by Mount Haddington, estimated by 
Ross to be 7,000 to 7,050 feet high, and the loftiest 
known elevation in this part of the Antarctic regions. It 
rises towards the interior in three terraces, all beginning 
with steep descents, and is on the whole deeply glaciated. 
The dark rocks certainly often appear along the lines 
of fracture marking the terraces, and in other places 
" nunataks " rise above the ice ; the steep descent of the 
foot of the mountain is almost entirely free from ice and 
snow. At a few points, especially to the north of Cape 
Gage, which commands the western entrance to Admiralty 
Bay, vast glaciers descend along the deeper valley de- 
pressions, extending a considerable distance out to sea. 
In the same manner a glacier, several nautical miles in 
breadth, comes down from the south side of the mountain, 
filling up the inner part of Admiralty Bay and thus 
attaching the outlying island (Snow Land) to the main- 
land. Another great glacier lies at the southern foot of 
the mountain between Capes Foster and Lockyer. 

Snow Land, the east coast of Admiralty Bay, on the 
other hand is completely glaciated, and nowhere shows a 
spot free from ice or snow. It is of pretty considerable 
size ; its major axis extends nineteen to twenty miles from 
south-west to north-east, and in the south it rises to 
about 1,950 feet. Then it descends gradually to the 
narrow sound separating it from Seymour Island, which 
is low and narrow and about fourteen miles long. The 
ice covering of Snow Land everywhere outlines the 
coast with an ice wall keeping within such modest 
proportions as forty-eight feet in the higher parts and 


only twenty feet in the lower. The bed of the sea 
round this island seems rather irregular, if Ross's sound- 
ings to the east of Snow Land and Seymour Island are 
compared. At a distance of about five miles from the 
coast they give only 145 feet, while at a distance of three 
furlongs from the ice wall at the south of Snow Land 
it was over 325 feet ; somewhat to the west and in the 
line of Admiralty Bay 480 to 590 feet, and fifteen miles 
south of Snow Land it was already 980 feet. All these 
irregularities in the structure of the sea bottom might be 
referred to volcanic phenomena, if indeed they are not 
attributed to glacial action originating in heavier masses 
of ice. Ross did not visit the coast at the foot of Mount 
Haddington, but the dark masses of which it is composed 
seemed to him to indicate a volcanic origin ; this opinion 
was strengthened by the outlines of the mountain and its 
superimposed layers of fused stones. The stones taken 
from the crops of penguins certainly belonged to eruptive 
matter, and only one specimen of granite is mentioned by 
McCormick the geologist and superior medical officer 
of the Erebus. Seymour Island, forming the northern 
continuation of Snow Land from which it is separated 
by the six to nine feet deep sound, is indisputably of 
volcanic structure. According to Ross, the island may 
be assumed to consist entirely of stone and volcanic 
matter recently ejected ; the surface is described as 
consisting of a deep brown lava with the characteristic 
corrugated conformation of the smooth mass on the top. 
Larsen's opinion, which fifty years later coincided with 
that of Ross, is supported by the circumstance that the 
island was free from snow ; the dark colour of the rocks 
moreover led him to conclude that the island had recently 
been in a state of eruption, as the icebergs attached to 
the island were seen to be discoloured at the top and the 
side adjacent to land. No centre of eruption, however, 
has as yet been found. Seymour Island is remarkable as 


being the only spot in the Antarctic regions in which for 
the first and only time palaeontological remains have been 
found. Larsen brought away petrifactions on his first 
visit which were evidently not found in their original 
resting-place, for they were already partly worn by 
weather and friction. The English geologists found 
that of seven shells of molluscs found here five belong- 
to the genus Cucullaea and one Cytherea, both shells. 
Two pieces of silicated conifers were also found. 

Larsen's second visit affords a more detailed account 
of the configuration of the island which was traversed 
not only by himself with two companions, but by a second 
party. He describes the surface as hilly, about 300 feet 
high — as far as he was able to judge — and intersected by 
valleys. Of the elevations some are cone-shaped, and 
appear to be small eruptive cones, built up of ashes and 
lapilli ; no other structure can be assumed since Larsen 
describes them as consisting of " sand, cement, and small 
stones ". On the other hand it is very puzzling that the 
petrified wood was found here also, occurring principally on 
an upper level of about 300 feet above the sea ; the trunks, 
he states, partly stood slanting in the ground. These cir- 
cumstances recall Tasmania and Kerguelen where fossil 
conifer wood similarly occurs bedded in basalt lava and 
tufas, and there may be no great error in assuming that 
analogous conditions obtain in Seymour Island. This 
Antarctic discovery might prove to be of great importance, 
as it goes to support the recent sharply-contested hypo- 
thesis that the polar regions enjoyed a far warmer climate 
during the tertiary period. The fossil plants found in 
Greenland have been declared to be tertiary drift-wood, 
but this explanation of the phenomenon in Seymour Island 
cannot be accepted. The currents could convey a deposit 
of drift-wood only from the west through Bismarck Straits, 
and this improbable and unsatisfactory explanation in no 
way accounts for the slanting position described by Larsen. 


The account is interesting of " balls formed of sand 
and cement" found in other parts of the island " lying on 
supports of the same " ; they presented an appearance as 
though formed "by the hand of man ". Dr. Donald who 
saw these balls describes them as composed of concentric 
layers, which leads to the inference that they were columns 
of basalt which had crumbled into concentric scaled balls, 
and this is not rare in basalt, and similarly in diabas and 

Cockburn Island and Admiralty Bay (after Ross). 

trachite. Larsen mentions no vegetation, which is all the 
more remarkable as Hooker found a comparatively rich 
flora existing close to Cockburn Island. 

Cockburn Island on which Ross landed lies at the 
entrance to Admiralty Bay, nearer to Seymour Island 
than to Mount Haddington. As with Seymour Island 
Ross found it entirely free from snow, as well on the 
somewhat elevated southern as on the lower northern 
side. According to his account the island reaches a 


height of 2,700 feet, while its diameter is said to be only 
about as much a^ain. The highest summit is crater-like in 
form, and a rock like a tower rises at the north end. Both 
stand on a plateau 1,300 feet in height, with a steep descent 
to a narrow shore, the slope being covered with detritus 
loosened by frost. The stone of the island is lava, partly 
solid, partly porous. A yellow lichen mostly covers the 
rocks, and together with eighteen other lichens, algae and 
even mosses, forms a flora that has a scanty subsistence 
on a surface completely frozen over even in the height of 

The last section of the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago, 
Trinity and Palmer Lands, has experienced important 
changes in its chartographical representations during the 
last twenty-five years. After Dallmann's discovery of 
Bismarck Straits had severed the west coast of Palmer 
Land from its previously presumed connection with 
Graham's Land, the discoveries of Larsen showed that 
there was also no connection either in the east or in the 
centre, and it was through Larsen's observations that a 
large portion of the Hinterland attributed to Trinity Land 
was withdrawn. It may also be mentioned that the 
present author had assumed a continuation of Bismarck 
Straits before Larsen's discoveries, basing his opinion 
on the observation made by Ross of the strong current 
setting east on the south coast of Louis- Philippe Land. 

Great uncertainty still prevails concerning the actual 
distribution and conformation of the land east of the 
Orleans Channel and north of Bismarck Straits, although 
these regions were the earliest visited of the whole 
archipelago, both by seal-hunters and scientific expeditions 
(Foster in the Chanticleer). Orleans Channel, which 
bounds Trinity Land in the east, has at its end a breadth 
of about twenty-two miles. The adjoining coast of 
Trinity Land, situated in about 63° 30' S. latitude, 
extends from about 59° 25' W. to about 6o° 50' W., 


and so far as is known it is hilly and almost entirely 
covered with ice. Foster's statement that the hills of 
Trinity Land rise to heights of from 5,800 to 6,800 feet 
may be based on an over-estimate ; it is certain that no 
such heights are given elsewhere. 

The entire western half of this coast apparently con- 
sists either of islands or a remarkably narrow peninsula, 
which forms a division between the eastern portion of 
Hughes Gulf and Bransfield Straits. The coast seems 
to run south from Hoseason Harbour, latitude 63° 40' 
S., longitude 6o° 20' W. According to Dallmann, who 
unfortunately observed his position rarely and inaccurately, 
a narrow strait then leads into the Orleans Channel. The 
land lying to the south of these straits and the southern 
boundary of Hughes Gulf are only vaguely known ; 
according to Larsen's opinion — not an unassailable one 
— and the chart based on it by Friedrichsen, the gulf 
stands in wide and open connection with Bismarck 
Straits. Up to the present, the south coast of Hughes 
Gulf is placed in latitude 64° 20' S., and its west coast 
is formed by Palmer Land. The gulf or strait, especially 
in its western portion, has a large number of islands, 
of which the northernmost, Hoseason Island, was visited 
by Foster, who landed on Cape Possession in latitude 
63° 46' S. and longitude 6i° 45' W. The ice-covered 
island proved to be composed of horn-blende syenite, and 
has therefore no modern eruptive rocks. According 
to the notes made by Kendall about the view to the 
south from the neighbourhood of the. cape, it seems that 
the wide gulf becomes an archipelago of numerous small 
islands farther along, and that their heights are con- 
siderable, even if they do not reach the measurements 
given by Webster. This is particularly true of the 
remainder of Palmer Land, an island or more probably 
a collection of islands, which according to present know- 
ledge, extends from Cape Cockburn in the north in 


latitude 63 53' S. and longitude 62° id W. as far as 
Bismarck Straits in the south, in about 65 io' S. latitude, 
and extends from Hughes Gulf in perhaps 6i° 30' W. 
longitude to about 63° 40' W. longitude. The northern 
half is divided by Dallmann Bay, a deep sweep, into two 
rather narrow peninsulas or islands, with Cape Cockburn 
and Mount Parry, apparently of high elevation, on the 
easternmost. In the south-west of Dallmann's Bay a 
small strait branches off to the south, and this may 
probably be connected with Roosen Straits, which are 
wider, and extend from the end of Bismarck Straits 
northward. If these circumstances exist, the whole west 
coast of Palmer Land, with its lofty mountain, Mount 
Williams, discovered by Biscoe, forms a separate island. 
Nothing whatever is known of what lies to the east 
beyond Roosen Straits. 

The land which is surrounded by a fringe of dunes 
on all its coasts is glaciated according to height. Dallmann 
states that with few exceptions the coast is formed by a 
wall of ice ''several hundred feet in height". On the 
other hand Biscoe found a shore free from ice and snow 
at the foot of Mount Williams, close to which no bottom 
had been reached at a depth of 121 feet, thus indicating 
a well-marked steep shore, from which the rock, after 
forming a narrow surf terrace, abruptly rises to consider- 
able height. Unfortunately we have no account from the 
two explorers who have visited this region of the rocks 
they met with, so that no conjecture can be made either 
as to the geological structure of Palmer Land or its 
interior and its relation to other regions. 


South of the Dirk Gerritz Archipelago lies Graham's. 
Land, the largest land mass hitherto discovered south of 
Drake Strait. In the " History of Discovery" it was. 


shown that its north-east and east coasts have only lately- 
been made known by Larsen's second voyage, whilst the 
west coast was seen first by Biscoe, then again by Dall- 
mann. and quite lately by Evensen, who also was the 
first to see Alexander Land again. 

If Larsen's observations are correct, the small island 
bearing his name must be regarded as the northernmost 
point of a group of islands situated in front of the north- 
ern coast of Graham's Land, which has not yet been 
sighted. This island lies in latitude 64° 45' S. and 
longitude 6o° 8' W., and is the last link of the chain of 
Seal Islands extending from north-west to south-east. Its 
nearest neighbour is the Greater Jason Island, then the 
smaller islets named Hertha, Castor and Oceana Isles, 
and finally Robertson Island, of very considerable size, 
whose loftiest summit is situated, according to Larsen's 
measurements, in latitude 65 20' S. and longitude 58° 
47' W. In the immediate neighbourhood of the north-east 
coast of this island, in latitude 64 50' S. and longitude 
59° W., lies the volcano Christensen, and to the north- 
east of it the conical-shaped Lindenberg Mountain, which 
is also volcanic. 

To the south of these islands rises the north-east 
coast of Graham's Land, named by Larsen, its discoverer, 
King Oscar II. 's Land. It stretches from the neigh- 
bourhood of the eastern Seal Islands in a S.S.W. direction 
as far as latitude 65° 4c/ S., where it forms the base of 
a considerable elevation, viz., the Jason Mountain, which 
forms a peninsula projecting far into the sea, and adjoin- 
ing a bay which penetrates deep into the land. From 
the middle of it rises the lofty Wetter Island, and in the 
far background Larsen saw at a great distance Foyn 
Land, a mountainous country, consisting apparently of 
four mountain ridges. (These he places in the region of 
latitude 66° 25' to 66° 42' S., and longitude 6i° 48' to 
61 ° 5c/ W.) To the south of this region, in latitude 


6y° S., the coast again projects as far as 6o° 40' W., 
and stretches in a southerly and south-westerly direction 
beyond the horizon of the southernmost point reached 
(latitude 68° io' S.) far into unknown distances. 

In the west begins the portion of Graham's Land by 
Bismarck Straits, which has been seen in about latitude 
65 2c/ S., and extends from here in a south-westerly 
direction to beyond latitude 68° S. Unfortunately, neither 
Biscoe nor Dallmann have given any, even remotely, satis- 
factory account about these higher latitudes ; not even 
the latitude in which the land was seen has been indicated. 
We only know that Biscoe saw elevated and extensive 
land to the east of Adelaide Island, situated in about 
latitude 67 15' S. and longitude 68° 20' W., and that 
he believes he has traced it as far as Palmer Land. 
Evensen does not even inform us if, according to his 
observation, Alexander Land, which he has seen not 
merely from the west, like Bellingshausen, but also from 
the north, is in direct communication with Graham's Land, 
as one is inclined to conjecture, or if both these countries 
are divided by a strait parallel to Bismarck Straits. The 
tract of coast seen by Bellingshausen, and named by him 
Alexander Land, lies in latitude 68° 43' S. and longitude 
j 3 id W., and as it gave him the impression of a lofty 
cape, from which the coast trends to the south-west, it 
may well be that the other arm of the projection follows 
an easterly direction, and might accordingly have been 
seen from the north by Evensen as a coast line. If this 
be really so, then it is certainly highly probable that 
Alexander Land is a continuation of Graham's Land. 

Just as the Seal Islands lie in front of the north- 
eastern extremity of Graham's Land, so do the Kaiser 
Wilhelm's Islands in the west mark the entrance to 
Bismarck Straits, albeit that their positions as well as 
their outlines are but faintly indicated in the charts we 
possess. The chain of Biscoe Islands, which must be 


regarded as coast islands, is probably in no way connected 
with the Kaiser Wilhelm's Islands ; it begins, according 
to Biscoe, with Pitt Island in latitude 66° 20' S. and longi- 
tude 66° 3& f W., and extends south-west parallel to the 
coast, but at a considerable distance from it, averaging 
about forty-five miles, as far as latitude 66° 20' S., but it 
must not be forgotten that the position of the main coast 
is still very undetermined. Adelaide Island, also situated 
far to the south, stands in no visible connection with the 
chain of Biscoe Islands proper, and it seems also to be at 
a much less distance from the coast, viz., about eighteen 
miles, according to the indication of the charts. 

Our knowledge of the vertical structure of Graham's 
Land is as scanty as that of its outlines and of its geology ; 
we only know that it possesses near its north-east coast 
two small active volcanoes. These two volcanic islands 
are in fact the best known parts of the country, one — 
Christensen Island — having been visited by Larsen, and 
the other was seen at no very great distance. The former 
Larsen describes as mostly free from snow, completely so 
round the summit, whence a stream of lava was poured 
out towards the eastern flank of the island. On the un- 
melted field-ice surrounding the island were found masses 
of eruptive rocks ejected by a recent eruption, which an 
examination by Dr. Petersen showed to have consisted 
of real olivenite felspar basalt. Larsen gives no infor- 
mation about the conjectured elevation of the island, nor 
about the nature of its volcanic activity, but on the other 
hand he does tell us that on the slopes of the Linden- 
berg Cone smoke was seen to rise in heavy masses from 
numerous parasitic craters ; indeed, the intense volcanic 
activity of this island was made manifest by the fact that 
the ice was melted for a considerable distance round it. 
One might almost be inclined to ascribe a volcanic char- 
acter to Robertson Island as well as to the five Seal 
Islands lying in a straight line, as they appear strikingly 


free from snow, in perfect contrast to King Oscar Land, 
which is wholly enveloped in ice and snow. Robertson 
Island, the largest of them, is highest in the south, de- 
scending towards the north ; this is the case also in the 
neighbouring Oceana Island ; on the other hand Larsen 
describes Castor Island as flat, Hertha Island as somewhat 
higher, and Jason Island finally is described as high, and, 
according to his estimation, three Norwegian miles (equal 
to eighteen English miles) in extent. Larsen Island, 
again, is low. 

King Oskar Land is apparently high and wholly 
glaciated, excepting a few isolated spots where the bare 
rock stands out from amidst the icy covering. North of 
Jason Mountain it appears relatively level, or gently 
ascending, whilst near the Jason Mountain the surface is 
described as uneven and rugged. To the north of this strik- 
ing summit the eastern extremity of which has been named 
Framnces, lies an ice-clad fjord extending west. From 
this spot the coast of the country extends to the north, and 
is enclosed by an ice barrier, the edge of which is distant 
five to six miles from the land, which gradually ascends, 
and is here and there of considerable elevation. This icy 
barrier also extends southwards along the whole extent 
of coast as far as it is known, and is much higher than to 
the north of Cape Framnces. Openings of remarkable 
depth are noticed in it, which Larsen regards as fjords; they 
are probably gaps left by icebergs that have drifted away. 
In many places the icy barrier was overhanging atop, and 
large masses of icegot detached and fell with a thunderous 
crash into the sea. From Larsen's account it is to be 
inferred that the mass of inland ice also fills the large bay 
situated south of Jason Mountain, in the centre of which 
lies Wetter Island. The background of the bay seems to 
have a greatly varied [surface, whilst the country south of 
the bay, as far as is known at present, and even beyond it 
is possibly elevated, but more uniform in structure. We 


are wholly uninformed about the geological structure of 
this newly-discovered country, and even about the varying 
depths along the coast. We must meanwhile be content 
with the knowledge of the existence of an extensive tract 
of land. 

Still less do we know about the west coast of Graham's 
Land. Biscoe only tells us that the country is elevated, 
continuous, and, in his opinion, extensive. The published 
narrative of Dallmann's voyage, as well as that of Evensen, 
leave us wholly in the lurch with respect to Graham's Land. 
Biscoe gives us scanty information only about the islands 
he has discovered, but he has made several valuable 
soundings. Pitt Island, which is the northernmost of 
the group, abounds in bays, and may well be designated by 
the epithet, the " Elevated Snow Land," which Evensen 
applies to the southern members of the group. Adelaide 
Island, situated at a great distance from the rest of the 
group, is the highest of them all. It is formed by a 
mountain chain about four miles in extent, from which 
a very high summit rises in a steep ascent. Biscoe seems 
to have found the mountain tops partly free from ice, whilst 
the lower regions were wholly glaciated, and terminated 
at the coast in an icy barrier 10 to 12 feet high, the tops 
of which were rent by large clefts. The soundings off 
Adelaide Island yielded very peculiar results. At a dis- 
tance of about three miles from the coast a line of 1,500 
feet failed to touch bottom. This isolated, steep and 
lofty island may possibly also be of volcanic origin. 

Alexander Land, finally, which Bellingshausen only 
sighted from a distance of about forty-five miles, is de- 
scribed as an elevated snow-clad region ; nevertheless, he 
imagined that in places he had noticed the rocky subsoil 
projecting from amidst the ice. 

To Alexander Land are joined in the west, but at a 
great distance, lands that have been sighted or conjectured, 
the extreme outposts of our geographical knowledge in the 


south-east of the Pacific; they are scanty, unreliable points 
on our charts, which, nevertheless, may at some future 
time coalesce and form extensive coast lines as the result 
of later and more favourable times for south polar ex- 

The first of these islands is that discovered by Bell- 
ingshausen, and named by him Peter I. Island. It has 
been referred to in the history of discovery. It is situated 
in latitude 68° 57' S. and longitude 90 46' W., and 
appears to be quite isolated, as Bellingshausen saw no 
land anywhere in its neighbourhood. The dimensions of 
the island are, on obviously uncertain data, calculated by its 
discoverer to be about eleven miles in length, five miles 
in breadth and twenty-six miles in circumference ; the 
mean height, calculated on the basis of three measure- 
ments, appears to be 4,200 feet. Excepting several steep 
slopes, the island was wholly covered with snow and ice. 
The height and isolated position of the island seem to 
favour the theory of volcanic origin, although there are 
no indications whatever of volcanic activity. 

Somewhat farther west, in about latitude yo° S. and 
-longitude ioo° W., Walker believed in 1839 to have been 
in sight of land for three hours ; this was during an interval 
of clear weather in the midst of a snowstorm, as has 
already been mentioned in the " History of Discovery". 
As he gives no description of this sight of land, it is not 
impossible that he was the victim of a delusion. How- 
ever, he sighted, somewhat to the west and at no great 
distance from this spot, heavy, compact masses of pack-ice, 
such as occur in the Antarctic seas mostly in the neigh- 
bourhood of land, and he also encountered such enormous 
masses of icebergs that the neighbourhood of land may 
be inferred, even if his sight of land was deceptive, he 
having mistaken, as he himself considers possible, a 
dSrisAaden iceberg for land. But just this latter circum- 
stance would more decisively speak in favour of the 


proximity of land than the indistinct and delusive appear- 
ance of the same. Its existence is finally rendered probable 
by the description given by Cook in his famous Ne 
plus ultra referred to above. We repeat : In front of 
of him he saw, in latitude Ji° io' S. and longitude io6 Q 
54/ W., beyond a zone of pack-ice a nautical mile in width, 
a firm, compact, mass of ice, which appeared to be rather 
low and flat. It increased greatly in height towards the 
south, and supported ninety-seven ice-hills, many of which 
were very high, and successively overtopped each other 
till they disappeared in the clouds, giving thus the im- 
pression of a complete mountain chain — which it prob- 
ably was, as may be assumed with considerable certainty. 
That common icebergs are not to be thought of in this 
description is shown by the unusual term he employs, 
and by the fact that the more distant masses tower above 
the nearer ones ; icebergs are in any given region of 
much the same height, and this would, according to the 
rules of perspective, exclude the appearance here de- 
scribed. Cook no doubt saw a mountainous country, and 
the level and firm ice-field in front of it must have been 
the well-known sheet of inland ice. 

It would be extremely desirable that this region too 
should be taken into consideration in the plans of future 
south polar explorations. Actual examination alone can 
definitively settle the question whether Peter I. Island, or 
some land to the rear of it corresponding to Walker's 
landsighting, and finally Cook's sights of land, can be 
combined into one general whole and connected with the 
coast of Victoria Land. The opponents of the theory of 
the existence of a south polar land, or even of a south 
polar continent, ought not to forget that there is absolutely 
nothing known that militates against the existence of such 
land, because no land has been seen in regions not yet 
reached by any ship ; in other words, the assumption of 
the existence of land is logically as justifiable as that of 



water. In fact the great number of icebergs, met also in 
the higher latitudes of the south-eastern Pacific, points 
more distinctly to the presence than to the absence of 
land, seeing that their origin can be traced only to 
glaciers or inland ice. 

Before passing over to the next large mass of land in 
the Antarctic regions, we may make short mention of the 
small, solitary Dougherty Island. It is situated in latitude 
59° 20 r S. and longitude 1 19° 44/ W. (the mean of the only 
two observations made), and presents the appearance of a 
rock five to seven miles in length, high in the north-east, 
flat in the south-west, and the centre covered by a glacier ; 
its highest elevation might be about 300 feet, which is 
slight in comparison to its extent. As it has only been 
seen from a distance, and has never been visited, we know 
nothing of its character or geology ; possibly it may be of 
volcanic origin. 


A wide expanse, within which the 68° S. has nowhere 
yet been crossed, divides the land probably sighted by 
Cook from the nearest land seen in a westward direction, 
viz., the extremest eastern point of Victoria Land seen by 
Ross, or the identical place, where the highest southern 
latitude has, up to now, been reached ; this is the eastern 
extremity of the large ice barrier, beyond which its dis- 
coverer beheld more land to the south of it. Between 
this spot and the extreme western land seen by Ross 
near Cape North, together with the adjoining ice barrier, 
between 161° 30' W. and 165 E., extends the wide 
region of Victoria Land and Ross Sea. 

The northernmost point of this considerable mass of 
land is Cape North, situated in latitude 70° 31' S. and 
longitude 165 28' E. From it elevated land seems to 


stretch in a south-west direction, whilst the lofty ice 
harrier in front of it extends beyond the horizon in a 
westerly direction. In the other direction the coast line 
of Victoria Land trends from Cape North to Cape Adare, 
in latitude 71° i8 / S., for a distance of about 125 miles, 
showing many a deep fjord, of which Yule Bay and 
Smith Inlet are the most important, whilst Cape Adare, 
with its far - projecting, coast forms Robertson Bay. 
The coast is lined by islets and cliffs in front of it, 
which are still more numerous and extensive on the 
eastern coast of the country. This trends due south from 
Cape Adare to Cape Cotter in latitude 72° 30/ S. and 
longitude 170° 5c/ E. This tract of coast, about ninety 
miles in length, is also interrupted by numerous bays, of 
which, according to Ross's chart, Mowbray Bay seems 
the most important. The coast is fronted by a row of 
islets, possibly beginning with " Doubtful Island," to which 
also belong " Possession Island," twice visited by Ross 
and by the crew of the Antarctic ; the distance of these 
islands from the mainland is inconsiderable. Between 
Cape Cotter and Cape Philipps, which forms an im- 
portant turning-point of the coast in latitude J3 S. 
and longitude 169 55' E., lies Tucker Bay, which is 
broad and penetrates deep inland and is overlooked on 
both sides by lofty summits. From Cape Philipps as far 
as Cape Sibbald in lat. 74° 6' S. and long. 166 47' E., 
extends in a wide, but shallow, curve a bay that is still 
unnamed, with a distance of 100 miles between the two 
extremities. In front of it lies a large island called 
Coulman Island, and near Cape Sibbald the small 
Kay Islets. From Cape Sibbald the coast extends in 
a gentle curve S.S.W. and S.S.E., assuming an easterly 
direction at McMurdo Bay. At the very beginning 
of this stretch of coast line Wood Bay, deep and 
wide, breaks in between Cape Sibbald at the foot of 
Mount Monteagle and the foot of the yet loftier 



Mount Melbourne. Between Cape Washington at the 
southern end of Wood Bay and Cape Gauss, latitude 

Map of Victoria Land (after Ross). 

76° 9/ S., longitude 162° 52' E., Ross was unable to 
keep the low coast in view, but the lofty mountains 


to the back of it were well defined. A small island lies 
in front of Cape Gauss, and it is possible that there 
may be at a distance of another sixty miles to E.N.E. 
" Doubtful Island," but the sighting was uncertain. 

McMurdo Bay already mentioned lies at the north- 
west base of Mount Erebus, and is bounded on the east 
by Cape Bird which projects far to the north from the 
volcano in latitude JJ° 9/ S., longitude 166° 4c/ E. As an 
elevated prolongation of this promontory Beaufort Island 
lies sixteen miles to the north. Franklin Island, fourteen 
miles long and half as wide, lies about fifty-five miles 
from Beaufort Island in the direction of N.N.E. by N. 

From Cape Bird the foot of Mount Terror now forms 
the coast, extending E.S.E. as far as Cape Crozier in 
latitude JJ° 25' S. and longitude 169 io' E. Here it is 
attached to the gigantic and uninterrupted mass of the 
Great Ice Barrier along which Ross sailed a distance of 
440 to 500 miles as far as latitude 78 io' S. and longitude 
161 36' W. This is the greatest ice barrier hitherto 
known on the face of the earth, and in extent corresponds 
approximately to the straight outlines of the continental 
coast between Calais and Sylt off Holstein. 

The characteristic that distinguishes Victoria Land 
from all other south polar tracts hitherto seen is its 
great elevation above sea-level. This and the form of 
the mountains visible from the sea unfortunately constitute 
almost all the information we possess about it. For all 
acquaintance with its geological structure the scanty 
investigations of Ross, when he landed on Possession 
Island and Franklin Island, and those of Borchgrevingk 
on Cape Adare and also on Possession Island or an islet 
of the same chain, are the only source. Unfortunately, 
Ross had no real artist on board, and the drawings ac- 
companying his work, which are faithfully copied in the 
present work, frequently bear the unmistakable stamp of 
an amateur's impressions. This defect, without the com- 


pensation of over-accuracy, prevents that acquaintance 
with the external aspect of the country which might 
otherwise have been chained. 

Above the whole sweep of the northern coast of 
Victoria Land, east and west of North Cape, the elevated 
chain of the Admiralty Range rises in innumerable 
summits, frequently conical, and many attaining great 
heights, according to the estimates and meeisurements 
of Ross. In the west Mount Elliot above Yule Bay is 
the highest ; in the east near Cape Adare Mount Sabine 

Mount Sabine and Possession Island (after Ross). 

rises 9,000 to 10,000 feet about thirty miles from the 
coast. The whole mountain range is completely glaciated, 
and the ice covering everywhere sinks into the sea, 
indeed as has already been stated an immense ice barrier 
extending west from Cape North, which it joins, here 
reaches a height of 140 to 160 feet. The mass of ice 
projects several nautical miles beyond the cape into the 
sea, but of course it is not known how far the edoe lies 
beyond the actual land farther west. To the east of 
the cape there certainly appears to be no unbroken belt 


of ice along the coast, but every bay, every indentation 
carries off the inland ice into the sea, and all these 
openings are closed in by ice walls 180 to 450 feet in 
height. The last measurement, never met with in ice- 
bergs and ice barriers elsewhere, points to the fact that 
these masses of ice rest on the sea bottom, and this 
conjecture is supported by the soundings taken by Ross. 
These are in so far of great interest that they indicate a 
comparatively gentle descent of the continental base off 
the elevated mountain coast. About thirty-seven miles 
from Cape North the soundings gave only 1,000 feet — no 
great depth when compared with those off the coast of 
the Cordilleras. Whether geological or glacial action is 
accountable for the existence of this submarine terrace 
is naturally very doubtful. 

The only point free from ice hitherto seen or landed 
upon on the north coast of Victoria Land is Cape Adare, 
already frequently named as lying in front of the foot of 
Mount Sabine. It rises as a huge boulder of basalt rock to 
a height of 3,500 to 4,600 feet above the surface of the sea, 
to which its foot descends as a long extended peninsula, 
with a level shore covered with shingle. It is not certain 
of what rock the cape is composed, as a great block of 
nephelin-tephrite was found on the shore and not attached 
to it, although it may belong to the cape. Even in this 
high latitude sparse vegetation was found to exist in the 
form of a lichen in particularly sheltered spots. 

According to the observations of Borchgrevingk the 
neighbourhood of Cape Adare must still be in a state of 
volcanic activity. A summit of 7,900 feet, scarcely covered 
with snow in the midst of the dazzling white mountains, 
suggested the probability of a recent eruption, and on 
two out of twenty glaciers counted by Borchgrevingk 
vast masses of snow seemed to alternate with layers of 
lava above the ice. 

The portion of the coast between Cape Adare and 


Cape Cotter exhibits the same characteristics as the 
north coast, only here the mountain summits seem to 
rise still higher, 11,800 to 13,800 feet; the highest and 
most prominent height of this range is Mount HerschelL 
Here too every coast indentation is completely filled up 
by vast glaciers again resting on the sea bottom and 
unable to break away and float. At a distance of two 
to three miles from the coast Ross sounded depths of only 
350 to 550 feet, an insufficient depth for floating Antarctic 
icebergs of ordinary size. The chain of low islets lying 
at a short distance from the coast consists entirely of 
volcanic rocks if an inference may be drawn from one of 
them, Possession Island, latitude 71 56' S., longitude 
1 7 1 ° 7' E., visited both by Ross and the crew of the 
Antarctic. The rocks were partly porous hornblende 
basalt free from olivin which here and there showed 
columnar detachment. On the south-west Possession 
Island bears two pointed heights of 300 feet each, and 
was pretty nearly free from snow on the occasion of both 
landings ; it had, however, a thick covering of guano 
deposited by the innumerable penguins that inhabit the 
island. On a rock at about twenty-eight feet above sea- 
level Borchgrevingk found the same lichen that appears 
on Cape Adare. 

Cape Wheatstone, the boundary of Tucker Bay on 
the north, is completely covered with ice at the top, 
while the steep descent is free from snow ; and farther 
south a cape with two heights, perhaps Cape Jones, is 
equally steep and free from snow. For the rest this 
section of the coast is evidently entirely covered with 
ice, and the same is in the main true of Coulman Island 
the centre of which lies about latitude 73° 36' S., longi- 
tude 1 70° 2' E. According to the chart drawn by Ross it 
must be of tolerable extent, with a length of at least 
eighteen miles ; with perhaps the exception of Cape 
Anne, the height of the island appears inconsiderable, 


c 2()l 

otherwise Ross would have made mention of it. Accord- 
ing to the view given by him and here reproduced, Coul- 
man Island, with the exception of the steep face of the 
rocks, is completely enveloped in ice and snow. 

Very little is known concerning Capes Philipps and 
Sibbald, as Ross was unable to approach near enough 
to gain a good view on account of the heavy land-ice. 
Cape Sibbald lies at the foot of Mount Monteagle, one 
of the highest mountains of Victoria Land, looking down 
with its steep summit on the others, and overtopped 

Coulman Island (after Ross). 

only by Mount Melbourne, the highest known summit 
of the south polar regions, said to be nearly 15,000 feet 
high. The outlines of Mount Melbourne, which bear 
a striking resemblance to those of Mount Etna, and also 
its crater at the top, evidently indicate its volcanic nature. 
At the same time Mount Melbourne marks the boundary 
of the coast actually seen by Ross, although he saw a lofty 
mountain chain in the west, the Prince Albert range, 
which either really is considerably less lofty than the 
•other parts of Victoria Land, or only appears to be so on 


account of its great distance. It is certain that the 
coast, which Ross was able to approach as near as 
twelve and a half to thirteen miles off Cape Gauss, is 
low and apparently flat. 

Although " Doubtful Island," as before stated, may 
have been only an iceberg heavily laden with debris, 
Franklin Island, where the landing was very dangerous, 
is undoubtedly a volcanic formation. The north side of 
the island shows a dark, steep cliff, 500 to 590 feet in 
height, traversed by a number of light-coloured hori- 
zontal layers several feet deep, and with yellowish red 
colour here and there — these may be layers of pumice 
stone partly decomposed by gaseous exhalations. On 
the south and south-west side the island is girt in by 
a lofty ice barrier. Soundings indicate that Franklin 
Island is to be regarded as the highest point of a 
volcanic ridge extending from north to south, for four- 
teen miles north of the island the measurements gave 
1,194 feet, and these gradually decreased to 305 feet six 
miles to the north-west, and 220 to 250 feet at two and a 
half to four miles out. On the south a range of cliffs 
extends above water for upwards of five miles. A con- 
tinuation of the line of direction leads straight to Beaufort 
Island, conical and small, but lofty, lying about two miles 
off Cape Bird and thus also off Mount Erebus. 

Mount Erebus, whose base sends out a peninsular 
projection — Cape Bird — to the north, forms the eastern 
boundary of MacMurdo Bay, which is broad and deep, 
and rises from the low land adjacent to it on the west 
to a height of 12,000 feet in round numbers. It is 
therefore not only relatively, but absolutely, one of the 
loftiest volcanoes on the earth, since it may be assumed 
that the enormous mass consists for the greater part of 
eruptive and ejected rock from the very level of the sea. 
The form of the mountain is a regular cone, and during 
the visit of Ross the centre of eruption was on the 


summit ; although in a state of violent activity the cone 
was completely covered with snow to about 300 feet from 
the crater. In January, 1841, the eruptions took place 
about every half-hour, and on each occasion a cloud of 
steam and ashes, apparently 150 to 300 feet in diameter, 
was hurled 1,200 feet to 2,000 feet high into the air. 
When the cloud had disappeared the reflection of the 
glowing lava could distinctly be perceived, indeed some 
of the officers thought they could see streams of lava 
flowing down till they were lost under the covering of 

Volcano of Mt. Erebus and Beaufort Island (after Ross). 

snow. Three weeks later the eruptions were more 
violent, but no lava was seen flowing off. 

About twelve miles from the summit of Mount Erebus, 
its sister mountain, Mount Terror, rises to a height of 
say 10,000 feet. It was not in a state of eruption, but 
is also unmistakably a volcano, as could be seen by the 
remarkable absence of snow on its surface and by its 
outlines ; numerous small parasitic crater cones appeared 
on the true cone, two especially near the north-eastern 
foot of the mountain by Cape Crozier stand out very 


prominently, though this is not apparent in the ac- 
companying reproduction of a sketch taken from the 
account of his voyages by Ross. Both mountains are the 
northernmost outposts of a lofty mountain range, the Parry 
Mountains, extending south to latitude 79° S. and perhaps 
farther still, as Ross saw their summits rising high above 
the great ice barrier which joins Mount Terror on the east. 
Scarcely any natural feature of the Antarctic world 
has at any time so stirred the imagination and so 
roused scientific interest as the discovery of this great 
ice barrier, kolt i£oxw> It is true that the icy covering 
of Mount Erebus projects with vertical face several miles 
into the sea, but this would in no wise astonish the 
discoverer, as the same phenomenon may be observed 
everywhere among the glaciers of Victoria Land. The 
most surprising characteristics of the great ice barrier 
are its unbroken uniformity, its vast extent, and the 
entire absence of visible land from its edge. From 
Cape Crozier, latitude jj° 25' S., longitude 169 io' 
E., to latitude 78 S. and longitude 169° W., the barrier 
extended — in January and February, 1841, at least — 
uniformly, without perceptible indentation, and with 
very few and slight variations in height. It was highest 
near Mount Terror, for here, where the mass of ice 
probably rests on the sea bottom, a height of 180 to 
280 feet was observed, while farther east it was, on the 
whole, nearly 130 to 150 feet. It was only in the last 
position mentioned that Ross observed the irregularity 
referred to above in the account of his voyages, with 
one still more marked to the east of the point he attained. 
The more broken face of the barrier, as well as the 
appearance of icebergs covered with detritus, tend to 
prove that Ross was not mistaken concerning the land 
seen in latitude 78 io' S. and longitude 161° 30' W., 
and that it is probable that the great barrier here comes 
to an end, or at least to the end of its uniform course. 





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It is difficult to gain any more detailed notion of 
the connection among themselves of isolated portions 
of Victoria Land, without entering upon over-fantastic 
speculations. A lofty mountain chain is seen rising steep 
and abrupt from the sea, extending from north-west to 
south-east and then on the whole to the south-west, till 
growing lower, they turn south-east and east in high 
latitudes with a final curve south. The summits probably 
consist principally of volcanic matter, like the outlying 
islands, and the mineral specimens obtained support 
this conjecture. At the same time it would be absurd 
to assign a purely volcanic structure to the whole of 
the extensive country, and non-eruptive minerals brought 
up from the ocean bed moreover militate against such a 
theory. The single block of true granite brought up 
by the dredging net near Coulman Island is sufficient 
to prove that in the region of Victoria Land also old 
crystalline rocks must be present, that an early geological 
formation has to be reckoned with, in which the great 
outlines of the mountain structures are merely accompanied 
on the coasts by volcanoes of far later origin. It is worthy 
of notice that from the only volcano in Victoria Land 
known to be active, a chain of volcanic islands runs in 
nearly a direct line northwards — Beaufort Island, Franklin 
Island, Coulman Island and Possession Island. Hans 
Reiter, in the work already frequently referred to, gives 
it as his opinion that the coast of Victoria Land is formed 
by a contorted range, the continuation of the great Western 
Pacific curve, of which the last recognisable ranges are 
those of Stewart Island to the south of New Zealand. 
He further assumes that the Parry Mountains turn east, 
and that the contorted island range seen by Ross at the 
east end of the ice barrier is continued across Graham's 
Land, thus completing the circle of the Pacific range. 
Even though it be necessary to guard againt rash or 
premature conclusions, and though the hypothesis by 


no means includes the proof, it is nevertheless true 
that Reiter's conception is worthy of notice, and that it 
it seems to come near the actual facts. A portion of 
detritus brought home by Borchgrevingk from Cape 
Adare proves that the region of Victoria Land has been 
subject to powerful structural revolutions in its geological 
past. This specimen, a fragment of granite, showed under 
the microscope that its crystalline components had been 
completely pulverised and subsequently cemented by 
silicious matter, a condition which can be observed in 
all the heavily compressed crystalline minerals of contorted 
ranges. It is not to be denied that much may be urged 
against this view. In the first place, the soundings 
made of the sea bottom in Ross Sea in no wise bear 
out the widely accepted coincidence supposed to exist 
between the greatest depths and the most striking 
structural features of the contorted coast. So far as is 
known no really great depth has been found to exist in 
Ross Sea ; the deepest sounding taken by Ross, 2,700 
feet without touching the bottom, was in latitude 74° 40' 
S. and longitude 166 W., far distant from any known 
land ; in the neighbourhood of land on the contrary the 
soundings gave much lower, and at the same time 
extremely variable, measurements. Thus the depth about 
six miles from Cape Adare was found to be 991 feet, 
while 135 miles east of Cape Phillips the depth was only 
1,082 feet, descending towards the coast to 1,260 feet, 
no great depth when compared with those off the 
Cordillera range, Japan, the curve of the Sunda Isles, 
and other portions of the great contorted system. The 
greatest depth actually measured descends no farther 
than 2,450 feet, and this sounding was taken near the 
edge of the great ice barrier about 105 miles east of 
Mount Erebus, while the greatest depth measured nearer 
land was 2,150 feet, between Franklin Island and 
MacMurdo Bay. Of course it might be urged that the 


smaller depths may be attributed to the effects of the 
glacial period in which vast masses of detritus must have 
been deposited, but if great depths descending thousands 
of feet had really existed near the coast of Victoria Land, 
they would certainly never have been so greatly 
diminished by glacial deposits. All thought of such a 
possibility must be relinquished, and it must be assumed 
that the relative shallowness of Ross Sea is due to 
structural causes. Submarine eruptions may perhaps be 
responsible for the striking variations, or the lesser depths 
indicate ridges of glacial deposits as compared with the 
greater depths. This conclusion, in all probability, 
applies to a bank near the eastern section of the great 
ice barrier, where depths of 1,076 to 1,135 ^ eet are 
found at a distance of thirty to forty-six miles from the 
barrier. No certain light therefore is thrown on the 
structure of Victoria Land by the soundings taken, and 
vague uncertainty must for the present be accepted in 
this respect, and also in that of its connection with the 
countries in South America, and with its neighbours, 
Wilkes Land, and the Balleny Isles, to which we now 


Almost exactly in the same meridian as the western- 
most point of Victoria Land, seen by Ross, but nearly 4 , 
i.e., some 280 miles, farther north, the high volcanic group 
of the Balleny Isles rises from the deep. As far as is 
known at present it consists of three larger and two 
smaller islands, and the middle island of the former, Buckle 
Island, was in active eruption in two places when Balleny 
visited them. Accurate measurements, confirmed by Ross 
also, show that their lofty western extremity is situated in 
latitude 66° 44/ S. and longitude 163 1 1' E. To the east 
of it lies Sturge Island, which is also or*e of the larger ones 


and is cone-shaped, but does not reach half the height 
of Young Island, the largest and highest of the group, 
which contains Mount Freeman, estimated by Balleny at 
a height of 1 1,800 to 12,000 feet. Between the two last- 
named larger islands lies Borrodaile Island, which is 
smaller and less elevated, and, finally, farthest to the west 
lies Row Island, which is low and exhibits no special 

The surface appears completely glaciated, and it is only 
at the coast that the steep cliffs show the rocky nature of 
the islands ; their petrographic character is shown by the 
specimens secured by Balleny after having effected a 
dangerous landing ; the rock consists of dense, scori- 
ated, olivine basalt, different from the basalt of the 
Possession Isles, which contains no olivine. The 
volcanic character of the islands, together with their 
inconsiderable distance from the eastern extremity of 
Wilkes Land, gives them a decisive character in the 
estimation of the geological structure of these regions ; 
and this becomes still more enhanced by the fact that Ross 
sighted a second group of islands situated to the south-east 
of these. In the " History of Discovery " we have pointed 
out that the three Russell Islands, sighted by Ross, might 
possibly be identical with the Balleny Isles, and further 
investigation alone can settle this question. Russell Peak, 
the highest of these islands, lies, according to Ross's 
measurements in latitude 6y° 28' S. and longitude 165 
30' E., which is i° further S. and 2 further E. than Buckle 
Island, as measured by Balleny ; but as on the one hand 
Balleny's observations are evidently very accurate, and 
on the other hand Ross also had seen land due west 
of the latitude observed by Balleny, it may be inferred 
that the two groups are not identical. From this as- 
sumption would follow the existence of a volcanic range, 
extending from the south-east to the north-west, and thus 
repeating the direction of the coast of Victoria Land from 



Cape Adare to Cape North. It may further be inferred 
that in analogy with other volcanic ranges those of the 
Balleny and Russell Isles indicate a techtonic line of 
fracture, which being situated farther south and south- 
west, would constitute the still problematical connecting 
link between Victoria Land and Wilkes Land. Un- 
fortunately soundings are still wanting which might 
supply some data for the determination of the submarine 
south-eastward direction of this hypothetical volcanic ridge; 
true, Ross has made a few soundings, but these do not lie 
in the line of the groups of islands ; still they are of interest 
in so far as they prove the proportionate rapid increase 
in depth as the distance increases. Thus, at a distance 
of twenty-eight miles from the northern coast of Victoria 
Land the depth indicated was only 1,075 ^ eet > whilst at 
a distance of 125 miles from the same coast the lead failed 
to touch bottom at a depth of 2,400 feet. 


The coast of Wilkes Land extends east to west at an 
almost invariable latitude ; it may be regarded as the 
longest coast line yet seen in the Antarctic regions, but 
its unbroken continuity is still a mere hypothesis. In the 
account we gave of Wilkes' voyage we called attention 
to the fact that he lost sight of the land for consider- 
able distances, and accordingly it is not impossible that, 
instead of a continent, Wilkes had sighted a chain of 
islands. We shall see, however; that the probability of 
this latter assumption is not greater, but rather less, than 
that of the theory, that all the separate portions of land 
sighted are parts of an unbroken whole. 

Ringgold's Knoll is the easternmost point of land 
distinctly seen by Wilkes and his companions. It is 








,^ v 




situated about 6j° S. and 158° E. ; the westernmost point 
is Knox's Highland in latitude 66° 3c/ S. and longitude 
105° 3c/ E. "Termination Land," entered on most maps 
in longitude 95° E., and described by Wilkes himself as an 
indistinct "appearance" of land, seems, according to the 
observations of the Challenger, to have no real existence. 
Assuming the coast of Wilkes Land to be continuous, 
then it would, exclusive of bays and gulfs, have an extent 
of some 1,750 miles — a long tract. The coast attains its 
northernmost point at Cape Carr, part of the Clarie coast, 
situated in round numbers in latitude 65° S. and longitude 
1 32° E. The deepest inlet is "Disappointment Bay," 
where Wilkes advanced to longitude 147 30' E. and 
latitude 6f 5' S., without sighting the southern ex- 
tremity of the bay. 

The land sightings from Ringgold's Knoll to the 
western extremity of Dumont d'Urville's Adelie Land 
extend, in about latitude 67° S., in a due east and west 
direction from 158 E. to 1 37° E. ; then the coast projects 
in a north-west direction as far as Cape Carr, whence it 
curves almost due south to possibly 65° 45' S. ; next it 
again pursues a westerly direction to about 66° S., as 
far the extremity of Knox's Highland. Budd's Highland 
alone seems, according to Wilkes' account, to project to 
about latitude 65 S. 

Of the general nature of the country we know exceed- 
ingly little ; since Balleny's visit in 1839, and those of 
Wilkes and Dumont d'Urville in 1840, not a single ship 
has approached these regions to confirm and extend the 
first discoveries. All the knowledge we possess of these 
regions is based on descriptions of views obtained from 
greater or less distances, and frequently interrupted by 
fogs and snowstorms. 

Little is known of the eastern extremity of Wilkes 
Land of the elevations named by Wilkes, Ringgold's 
Knoll, Eld's Peak, and Reynold's Peak. On the 16th 


of January, 1840, land was distinctly sighted for the first 
time. The three vessels, the Vincennes, the Peacock and the 
Porpoise, lay at no great distance from each other within 
their several horizons, the Peacock being south-east of 
the Porpoise. From the former of these two vessels a 
chain of mountains was perceived, from which two sum- 
mits clearly stood out, respectively named Eld's Peak 
and Reynold's Peak ; between both, several mountain 
ridges extended in apparently parallel lines, on which other 
peaks rose whose summits were shrouded in clouds. 
Ringgold on the Porpoise saw only one elevation, which 
to him appeared to be an island, as it did also to Wilkes 
on the Vincennes. The height of the mountains was esti- 
mated by Eld and Reynold at about 1,000 to 2,000 feet, 
obviously too low an estimate, all the other elevations of 
Wilkes Land appearing to be considerably higher. It 
seems to us that the different aspects presented by the 
land and the low estimates of the elevations may both be 
due to the fact that the land was situated a good deal 
further south, and that what the discoverers had perceived 
was a mountain chain beyond, extending south-east or 
south-south-east ; from the Peacock, lying farther to the 
south-east, the land presented the appearance of a moun- 
tain chain seen from the flank ; the Porpoise had more of 
a front view of it, consequently the whole mass appeared 
as a single elevation. From the Vincennes Wilkes ob- 
tained the same view as Ringgold from the Porpoise ; he 
called it " Ringgold's Knoll," erroneously making two 
sightings of land out of a single one. This view of the 
matter is, however, to be regarded as a mere hypothetical 
attempt to clear up a confused account, to be refuted or 
confirmed by a more accurate survey of the coast. It 
seems probable that this easternmost sight of land is far 
more likely to be part of a long connected coast, extend- 
ing possibly as far as Victoria Land, than a chain of small 
islands as is assumed in Petermann's otherwise excellent 



south polar chart, which has been universally copied 
(Stielers Hand Atlas, No. 7). 

The next coast line sighted by Wilkes was in 66° 20' 
S. and 1 54 30' E., when he beheld land both in the 
S.S.E. and in the S.W. The former sighting of land was 
entered in the English Admiralty chart as Eld's Peak and 
Reynold's Peak, but according to the above theory in- 

Cape Hudson, as seen from U.S.S. Peacock on 19th January, 1840 (after Wilkes). 

correctly, as these elevations must lie farther east. The 
cape projecting farther west, approached comparatively 
near by the Peacock, was seen much more distinctly, 
and was named by Wilkes " Cape Hudson " in honour of 
the captain of the Peacock. Some descriptions of it 
from various distances may enable us to form some notion 
of this cape. Like the land previously seen, it consists 

Cape Hudson, as seen from U.S.S. Peacock on 19th January, 1840 (after Wilkes). 

along its whole extent of two parallel chains successively 
rising like an amphitheatre ; they are wholly covered with 
snow, and attain a height of about 3,000 feet. Since land 
was also seen in the south, it does not seem improbable 
that it encircles the deep bay towards the east, and is 
connected with the elevations seen in the same direction. 
On the other side Cape Hudson is joined by the broad 
Peacock Bay, at the back of which land was distinctly seen 



both to the east and to the west, and its westernmost 
promontory was named Emmons Point. Icebergs 
covered with ddbris, sure harbingers of approaching land, 
had been observed near this bay by the Porpoise before 
land was actually seen. 

View of Adelie Land at Cap de la Decouverte (after Dumont d'Urville). 

Emmon's Point is succeeded by " Disappointment 
Bay," bordered in the west by " Case Point ". Its 
southernmost coast, beset by pack-ice, could not be 
examined, in consequence of which the charts of the coast 


Adelie Land (after Dumont d'Urville). 


here leave a gap. On the other side of " Case Point'' 
also, no land was seen for a considerable distance in con- 
sequence of bad weather, but then we come to a tract of 
coast ot Wilkes Land, viz., Adelie Land, which is the 


most extensive yet seen, and of which we possess obser- 
vations and drawings made by Dumont d'Urville, which 
agree very nearly with those made by Wilkes. The land 
seems to have a tolerably uniform elevation of 3,000 feet 
according to Wilkes, or of 3,280 to 3,900 feet according to 
Dumont d'Urville. Not a single prominent summit rises 
above these level undulating uplands, whose glaciated 
declivities descend gradually to the coast, terminating 
almost everywhere in the familiar, vertical ice barrier ; at 
one spot only D'Urville saw the bare rock projecting 
above the icy covering, forming a cape, noticeable more 
by its colour than by its shape. D'Urville called a certain 
shallow bay along the coast the " Baie des Ravines " ; the 

Pointe Geologie (after Dumont d'Urville). 

point of the coast first approached by him the " Cap de 
la Decouverte," and another near which it was possible to 
land, " Pointe Geologie ". The illustrations here given 
are taken from the surveys of D'Urville and of Wilkes. 
The coast seen here with greater accuracy comprises an 
extent of 125 to 140 miles, encircled everywhere by an ice 
barrier. Its monotony forms a perfect contrast to the 
striking irregularities observed in various places of the snow 
and ice-clad country. Near the " Cap de la Decouverte," 
which bounds Wilkes' Piners Bay in the east, extensive 
clefts were observed, and perhaps also gullies filled with 
water from melted ice ; elsewhere the snow presented an 
appearance as though it had been furrowed by a plough, 


and in open unprotected places it lay in ridges like the 
sand in a wind-lashed desert. It is highly probable that 
D'Urville saw real snow-dunes, similar to the mighty 
snow-drifts distinctly observed on the higher levels of the 
country. The greatest disturbances were noticed on the 
inland ice at the back of the " Baie des Ravines," where 
it was so traversed by intersecting systems of clefts that 
the country appeared to be strewn with isolated gigantic 
ice-blocks. Characteristically enough the very iceberg 
bore traces of these convulsions ; their sides were per- 

Coast Island at Pointe Geologie (after Dumont d'Urville). 

pendicular as usual, but their surfaces were a chaos of ice 
fragments. In the neighbourhood of " Pointe Geologie " 
a chain of rocky islets lies fronting the coast, and on one 
of them D'Urville effected a landing, in consequence of 
which we possess some geological knowledge of at least 
this one spot. It is highly interesting to learn that here 
also crystalline slate was found — gneiss or amphibolite, or 
probably both ; the summit of the islet visited was broken 
up into blocks. Of vegetation nothing was seen on this 
the only spot of Wilkes Land visited by man. The 


portions of these cliffs nearest to the land or ice barrier 
were only about two to three furlongs off from these latter, 
and from them could be clearly seen some summits near 
the coast free from ice, but all the rest were fully glaciated. 
This ice barrier is, however, less high than that of Victoria 
Land ; its mean altitude being only ioo to 140 feet, and 
the icebergs also attain corresponding heights. Farther 


Adelie Land, as seen from U.S.S Vincennes on 30th January, 1840 (after Wilkes). 

west, on the other hand, in longitude 137° E., Wilkes found 
heights of 150 to 200 feet. 

The continuation of Adelie Land towards the north- 
west was not seen by D'Urville, as he steered too far 
north, but Wilkes kept it constantly in view, and saw its 
outlines distinctly beyond the mass of inland ice of the 
Clarie coast, which projects far to the north. But it seems 
to be here somewhat lower than it is farther east, or else 
it is a somewhat larger island in front of the coast, or even a 

Adelie Land, as seen from U.S.S Vincennes on ist February, 1840 (after Wilkes). 

peninsula wholly glaciated like the rest. This is to be in- 
ferred from the circumstance that the Porpoise had sailed 
from the east into a long and rather narrow bay, whose 
coasts south, west and north are beset by vertical walls of 
ice. The theory that a gigantic mass of ice had got detached 
there and drifted north is not tenable — the Clarie coast, that 
is to say, the northern flank of the supposed peninsula, 
having been seen by Balleny in the same position a year 


before D'Urville and Wilkes. Ringgold estimates the 
height of the ice walls in the interior of the bay to be 
about 150 feet, whilst D'Urville states it to be in the 
north 100 to 150 feet, and also notices that the outlines 
follow a somewhat irregular course. The western coast 
of the country, which stretches, as has already been 
pointed out, far to the south, seems not to be different 
in character from the rest. 

The next piece of land that was seen was " North's 
Highland," separated from the rest by " Porpoise Bay," 
and also surrounded by a lofty ice barrier, exhibiting, when 
Wilkes visited it, a very irregular course towards the west. 
In the same direction the land gradually passes into 

View of the coast of Clarie from a distance of six nautical miles (after Dumont 


" Sabrina Land," first discovered by Balleny, and desig- 
nated in its western part by Wilkes as " Totten's High- 
land ". Here is, once more, a large gap on our maps, 
due to the prevalence of fog and snowstorms, which 
caused Wilkes to lose sight of both land and ice barrier. 
On the other hand there is farther to the north " Budd's 
Highland," a lofty mountain chain, which exhibits a 
greatly varied configuration, notwithstanding its being 
wholly enveloped in snow. Here the coast seems to 
recede somewhat to the south, but soon afterwards it 
resumes its east to west direction. Wilkes named this 
section " Knox's Highland ". This coast, sighted in 
66° S. and 106° 19/ E., probably extends for a distance of 


ninety miles ; the elevations attain, like the others of 
Wilkes Land, a height of 10,000 to 11,000 feet; they 
ascend gently to rounded summits, whose ice covering 
terminates in the usual ice barrier. Ringgold, who 
describes the elevations of that district as lofty cones, 
probably fell a victim to the familiar optical delusion of 
over-estimating the angle of inclination. 

Over the whole tract from Cape Carr to Knox's High- 
land both Wilkes and Ringgold fell in with numerous 
icebergs, thickly covered with debris, which are such sure 
indications of neighbouring land, that its proximity would 
be regarded as highly probable, even if it had not been 
actually seen by both of them as well as by Balleny. Near 
the last sighting of land Ringgold specially noticed that 
the ice barrier, as well as the icebergs originating from it, 
appear quite dark in consequence of the heavy masses 
of ddbris they held in clearly distinguishable strata. The 
rocks of this ice-bound conglomerate consisted of red 
sandstone, granite (perhaps gneiss), red clay and dark 
mud, as well as sand in great masses. Wilkes mentions 
basalt ; this would be highly interesting, but unfortunately 
the conformation of the coast, added to the fact, that 
Wilkes frequently mistook dark rocks for basalt, lead to 
the suspicion that an error has crept in, and that crystalline 
slate, or perhaps amphibolite, has been erroneously des- 
ignated as basalt. 

Debris-covered, icebergs were seen not merely in the 
neighbourhood of the land actually sighted, but Wilkes 
as well as Ringgold have encountered them farther west ; 
Wilkes, indeed, as far as ioo° E., which is at no great 
distance from the spot where in longitude 97 ^7' E- and 
latitute 64° i' S. he believed he had seen the last indication 
of larfd called " Termination Land ". It has been 
mentioned above that in 1874 the Challenger made a near 
approach to this spot from the west without noticing any 
trace of land, whence it may be inferred that Wilkes' 


supposed sight of land was after all deceptive in spite of 
the very numerous icebergs he saw, and which led him 
to believe in the nearness of land. The map certainly 
does not support Wilkes' testimony, he having himself 
falsely indicated the existence of land west of the position 
above described, whilst at the same time he mentions the 
south-west as the direction in which it was seen, and adds 
that it seemed to extend to the north. It is, however, not 
absolutely impossible that " Termination Land " may have 
been raised by strong refraction high above the horizon, 
and that it may consequently still exist, but farther south. 
It is possible that the coast of Wilkes Land, in its 
conjectured extent, trends to the south and thus forms a 
west coast, whence the icebergs drift towards the north, 
and meeting those of the north coast, forming the gigantic 
accumulation of bergs which blocked Wilkes' progress to 
the east and that of Nares to the west. 

If we take a general survey of Wilkes Land we may 
be justified in assuming that it consists of a tolerably old 
mass built up of crystalline slate and sediments, the edge 
of which follows a due east and west direction, is entirely 
glaciated, and shows mere moderate elevations. The sub- 
marine base of the land obviously descends to the sea 
bottom more steeply than in Victoria Land, in spite of the 
slight elevations of the country ; this is proved by the 
soundings, albeit few in number, which have here been 
made. For example, about sixty-five miles north of the 
supposed position of Ringgold's Knoll or Eld's Peak a 
depth of 5,105 feet was sounded ; in Peacock Bay, about 
seventeen to twenty miles from the coast, a depth of 4,816 
feet was sounded, but a little to the north of it the lead 
indicated a depth of only 1,923 feet. All other soundings 
failed to reach the bottom at depths varying from 900 to 
1,825 feet. In Piner's Bay, near Pointe Geologie, Wilkes 
found a rocky bottom at a depth of only 180 feet. The 
remarkable proximity of a comparatively great depth near 


the land in Peacock Bay, which does not amount to nearly 
the half at a greater distance, calls to mind the state of 
things in Ross Sea near the great ice barrier. From 
those two soundings it might be inferred that Peacock 
Bay was shut off in the north by a rise in the sea bottom, 
whose proximate cause might be the accumulation of glacial 
ddb7'is ; but it is questionable whether such an enormous 
terminal moraine may readily be ascribed to such an 

The position of Wilkes Land, as compared with 
Victoria Land, is supremely interesting, especially as 
these two most extensive of all the known coasts of the 
Antarctic regions exhibit, in consequence of the existence 
of volcanoes, distinctly different characters, both techtonic, 
geological and orographic. It will be specially incumbent 
on future discoverers to fill up the gap in the coast line 
between Wilkes Land and Victoria Land ; indeed an 
accurate survey of Wilkes Land alone would be of great 
value in order finally either to justify or remove the doubts 
entertained about the credibility of Wilkes' communica- 
tions. It must be admitted that for passing the winter in 
ships this coast would be hardly more suitable than that of 
Victoria Land, and for an overland journey to the mag- 
netic pole, such as stands on the programme of future 
explorers, the coast of Wilkes Land is probably at too 
great a distance. This theory is based on the supposition, 
which certainly is not yet proved, that Victoria Land as 
well as Wilkes Land are not proportionately narrow islands 
or chains of islands, but the termination of extensive, 
possibly connected, lands at their rear; in fact this question 
is intimately connected with the problem of an Antarctic 
continent, which can be definitively solved only by future 
explorations. At a subsequent stage we shall show that 
the prevailing winds, atmospheric pressure, the distribution 
of the ice, combined with what is known of the geological 
structure of the Antarctic lands, all tend to support a high 


probability of the existence of an extensive South Polar 
Continent, or at least of masses of land connected by ice 


The last of the three larger groups of land that have 
been actually sighted, or were conjectured to exist, are 
those hastily seen by Kemp, comprising the extensive 
coast of Enderby Land, besides the frequent views of an 
ice wall to the west of it, and some indistinct indications 
of other land ; all these are least known, notwithstanding 
the fact that they are situated within the region visited by 
Cook on his first voyage of discovery to the far south. 
The easternmost point seen, viz., Kemp Land, is situated 
in latitude 66° 3c/ S., almost on the same parallel as the 
westernmost point of Wilkes Land, the existence of which 
has been clearly demonstrated in longitude 69 W. The 
distance intervening between the two districts amounts to 
forty-four meridians = 1,150 to 1,250 miles. 

The Challenger penetrated into the centre of this 
intermediate region, and even beyond it, and it is due to 
its investigations that the veil has been partially lifted 
from over this vast tract. Land it is true, was not 
actually seen, but the soundings that were taken, and 
the specimens of rock and other substances brought to 
the surface have thrown some light on this region. The 
Challenger took soundings at three places in the regions 
of drift ice south of latitude 64° S., viz. : — 
At 64 18' S. and 94 47' E. the soundings reached a 

depth of 7,805 feet. 
At 64 2>7 r S. and 85 40/ E. the soundings reached a depth 

of 10,807 feet. 
At 65° 42' S. and 79° 49/ E. the soundings reached a depth 
of 10,056 feet. 


The substances raised from the sea bottom were mostly 
blue mud, of which we now know that it is invariably of 
continental origin ; also to a preponderating extent rock- 
masses, exhibiting distinct traces of glacial action ; these 
were granite, quartz-diorite, diorite-slate (scale-stone), 
amphibolite, mica-slate, granulous-quarzite, sandstone, 
small fragments of compact limestone and of decomposed 
clay-slate, in a word, only such rocks as are produced 
exclusively by continents or their fragments. Eruptive 
rocks, or to speak more accurately, eruptive rocks of late 
origin, have been nowhere met with in high latitudes, but 
occurred in considerable quantities farther north in the 
neighbourhood of the Heard Isles, which are volcanic. 
Every one will agree that Murray is right in the inference 
he draws from these evidences — that there must be land 
near 8o° E. ; for these rock-fragments necessarily are 
derived from land, and can have reached their subsequent 
resting place only by being transported by ice. How far 
off this land may be from the positions reached, whether 
1 20 or 250 miles, or more or less, is, according to Murray, 
a matter of secondary importance ; the main thing being 
the certainty of its existence, which is proved, not only 
by the specimens brought up from the bottom of the sea, 
but is also made probable by the great number of quite 
new icebergs which the Challenge?' encountered in the 
higher latitudes between Wilkes Land and Enderby Land. 
The first undisputed sight of land in the district of 
Enderby Land is called Kemp Land — after Kemp, its 
discoverer. He saw in latitude 66° 25' S. and 59° E. 
a perfectly inaccessible coast — and that is the sum total of 
our knowledge of his discovery. The chart of the British 
Admiralty, No. 1,240, lays down his whole course, and thus 
gives the most exact account of this voyage. According 
to it, this probably conjectural coast line is situated in 
latitude 66° 35' S. ; it extends from 6o° to 58° 30' E., and 
is thus about forty miles long. 


We are somewhat better informed about Enderby 
Land itself, although it was seen nowhere from a less 
distance than twenty-five to forty miles ; hence it comes 
that the map we possess is so little reliable and varies 
in many points from Biscoe's notes. According to this 
latter the eastern extremity of the land seen would be 
transferred to 6i° E., and scarcely farther north than 
latitude 66° 25' S ; at least Biscoe's map does not show any 
position that is more advanced, and the one in question 
is occupied by a considerable elevation. Farther west is 
situated, according to Biscoe's observations, a distinctly 
projecting headland called Cape Anne. From here the 
land stretches more or less distinctly visible from a great 
distance as far as longitude 43° 54/ E., where Biscoe came 
near and himself distinctly saw a perpendicular wall of ice 
100 to no feet high, a most reliable indication of land. 
Only a little to the west of it Cook had seen an uniform 
and level mass of ice extending along the horizon, which, 
according to his imperfect measurement, he estimated to 
be 1 5 to 20 feet high. All the experience so far gained 
in the Antarctic regions is against the assumption that it 
was pack-ice or field-ice, for such a thickness of it has 
nowhere been seen in the frozen seas of the south, and least 
of all in the open storm-lashed waters at such comparatively 
low latitudes ; it seems safe then to assume that both the ice 
seen by Cook and that west of Alexander Land was a 
real ice wall, whose distance and height he may possibly 
have under-estimated. 

This is the extreme point from which the existence of 
land may be assumed with any degree of certainty, but it 
is conjectured that it extends thence at ever higher lati- 
tudes as far as the zero-meridian. Thus Biscoe believed 
that he saw land repeatedly about latitude 69° S., and 
he was confirmed in this belief by observing numerous 
animals, of whom we know from experience that they keep 

at no great distance from the land ; this seems to have 



occurred in longitude 31° to 25° E. Similarly Bellings- 
hausen came in latitude 6o° to 69 16' S. and longitude 16 
30' to 18 3c/ E. upon fields of floating and of fixed ice, 
which extended east to west to seemingly endless dis- 
tances, and this so-called fixed ice may well be regarded 
as an ice barrier. Near that spot, in latitude 69 25' S. 
and longitude if E., Biscoe seems to have sighted 
something like land, independent of sea birds, who were 
observed to direct their flight to the south-west. In latitude 
69 22' S. and longitude 2 15' W. he came upon " a dense 
wall of ice," of which unfortunately we have no detailed 
account, so that it is impossible to determine whether it is 
a mass of pack-ice or a genuine ice barrier. About the 
regions farther west we are still without information about 
land being sighted distinctly or even indistinctly ; but that 
it must exist at least in higher latitudes is proved by the 
numerous icebergs met by both Weddell and Ross in their 
advance southwards between o° W. and Graham's Land. 
In latitude 66° 24/ S. and longitude 32° 33' W. Weddell 
saw a large iceberg, thickly covered with dSrzs, and 
farther south icebergs were very numerous about the 
middle of February, and even in latitude 74° 15' S. he still 
saw four of the bergs ; Ross saw them in great numbers 
in latitude 70° to 71 30' S. and about longitude 15° W. 

This exhausts the enumeration of all the land known 
or conjectured to exist. Of its nature nothing is known 
beyond the fact that Biscoe describes it as mountainous 
and covered with snow. No specimens of rock have been 
obtained from either the sea bottom, or from the matter 
brought down by icebergs, by which conjectures about 
the geology of the country might have been possible, and 
not even soundings have been made in its neighbourhood. 
Those made by Ross in latitude 68° 34' S. and longitude 
1 2 49' W. are at a great distance from Enderby Land, and 
no bottom was reached at a depth of about 24,000 feet. 
If no error has occurred in this measurement then it is 


the greatest known depth south of latitude 30° S. ; it has 
been distrusted and not entered on any sea charts ; 
Murray, however, strenuously insists on its reliability. 
Future explorations will show whether Biscoe and Bell- 
ingshausen have really seen land, and if it be so, whether 
it was a continuous coast, as at Enderby Land and Kemp 
Land, or a succession of separate islands. Then we shall 
also know whether or not an uninterrupted continental 
coast extends beyond Enderby Land to the south-west 
and is joined in high latitudes to the east coast of 
Graham's Land. There is as little to be said against this 
theory as for it, or perhaps even less, as will be shown 
in the next chapter, when the directions of the prevailing 
winds are discussed. 


That the Antarctic regions have, till now, remained the 
least known on the face of the earth is due solely to their 
inhospitable climate, which precludes the possibility of 
any human settlements, and compared with which the 
most northern Arctic regions known to us may be con- 
sidered as delightful habitations. At first sight it is 
simply surprising to notice such an enormous difference 
in the climates of the two Polar regions ; but on con- 
sidering their external conditions, we speedily arrive at 
the conclusion that this difference is no more a fortu- 
itous accident than any other phenomenon in nature, but 
on the contrary is deeply rooted in general circumstances 
which are still only partially understood. 

It is well known that solar heat is the primary 
source of all climatic phenomena, and the mere mathe- 
matical aspect of its distribution shows that the southern 
hemisphere is placed at a disadvantage when compared 
with the northern hemisphere. The fact that at about the 
time of our winter solstice the earth is in her perihelion, 
where her angular orbital motion is greatest, brings it 
about that the sun shines only 179 days in the year 
vertically over places in the southern hemisphere, but 
186 days over regions in our northern hemisphere. The 
southern summer is probably somewhat hotter than the 
northern summer, in consequence of the greater nearness 
of the sun ; but, on the other hand, the southern winter 
is longer, and, because of the greater distance of the sun,, 

colder than the northern winter. 



Although the amount of solar heat poured out over 
the two hemispheres in the course of the year may be 
absolutely equal, yet a priori the climate of the southern 
hemisphere must theoretically be more extreme than that 
of the northern hemisphere. It is true that in perman- 
ently-inhabited countries of the southern hemisphere, and 
in latitudes that have been visited at all seasons of the 
year, less fluctuation in temperature has been observed 
than in corresponding places of the northern hemisphere ; 
but the cause of this deviation from normal conditions 
must be looked for in the unequal distribution of land 
and water, in the huge preponderance of the oceanic over 
continental areas, and in the existence of the gigantic 
southern ocean, with its three broad bays penetrating 
northward deep into the land. The Antarctic region 
is situated precisely like an island in the middle of 
this boundless ocean, nowhere approaching any known 
continent to within 600 miles ; and it is thus deprived of 
the climatic influences of vast continental regions, while, 
on the contrary, subject to the unmitigated oceanic climate 
of our globe. The character of an oceanic climate is well 
known ; it is equable, and by diminishing the fluctations 
in temperature it reduces the summer heat and the winter 
cold, and produces great precipitation of moisture. This 
would lead us to expect that the climate of the Antarctic 
masses of land, or of the problematical south polar con- 
tinent, must be wholly dominated by the climate of the 
great southern ocean, and must share its peculiarities. 
This, however, is counteracted by the peculiar positions 
of south polar lands. If we imagine all the lands of those 
regions, as far as they are known to us, united into a 
single mass, then the coasts would, in accordance with 
our present knowledge, have an equatorial direction. 
But in that case the ocean would immediately be deprived 
of a large part of its influence, because for any given 
degree of latitude the supply of solar heat is a constant 


quantity, whilst the radiation of heat into the atmosphere 
and the aerial currents and climatic influences caused 
thereby depend on the local distribution of land and 
water. Accordingly, an interchange of air, such as, 
for example, takes place between western Europe and 
the Atlantic, effecting so considerable a rise in the mean 
annual temperature of north-western Europe, could not 
possibly take place there. This is clearly exhibited by 
the charts of the distribution of temperatures and of atmos- 
pheric pressure. The isothermal lines and the isobars 
show but few and slight curves, and instead we observe 
a pronounced parallelism between both kinds of climatic 
curves, which, although mainly conjectural, are probably 
enough in accordance with actual facts. The climate of 
Antarctic regions proper can consequently either not be 
inferred at all, or only to a slight extent from that of the 
surrounding ocean, but it must be based on the thermic 
condition of the country itself, on the prevailing winds, 
and finally on the general circulation of the atmosphere 
over the globe. 

The prime and weightiest factor of the south polar 
climate is the geographical position of those regions. As 
has just been observed, it is purely oceanic, but this 
characteristic is not fully distinctive, as it is shared by 
every island, and even among the continents, primarily 
by Australia, then by South America, and at bottom 
by all the continents of the world. But that which 
distinguishes the Antarctic regions from all other insular 
masses of land, and the effect of which has already 
been faintly indicated, is its circumpolar oceanic position. 
This alone prevents the existence of any essential con- 
trast in temperature between the several meridians, which 
leads to convection-currents of the air, and of the waters 
that depend on them ; it alone conduces to the almost 
symmetrical distribution of atmospheric heat and pressure 
which is graphically exhibited by the uniform zones of 


the isothermal and isobaric lines. If then, in consequence 
of the situation and conformation of the Antarctic masses 
of land, no great thermal difference, due to latitude, is to 
be expected, then the annual difference in temperature 
must inevitably be all the greater, for, barring a few 
slight exceptions, all the land masses of the south polar 
regions lie within the Antarctic circle, and are conse- 
quently subject every year to a difference in the length 
of the day of from o to 24 hours on the periphery, and to 
between 179 x 24 hours' day and 186 x 24 hours' night 
at the Pole itself. But the supply of heat from the sun 
depends partly on the inclination of the solar rays, and 
partly on the duration of daylight, whence it follows that 
the Antarctic regions must have, in comparison with the 
ocean to the north of it, an excessive climate independent 
of its probable continental character. In the winter season, 
which coincides for the central parts with the long polar 
night, a supply of heat is wholly excluded, and we are 
forced to assume a very low degree of temperature, at 
least for the land. In summer the whole region, and 
especially the Pole, receives continuously a more abun- 
dant supply of heat from the sun, which is all the more 
intense as the sun is in perigee ; but as, according to 
our present knowledge, those regions are covered by a 
constant mantle of snow, the summer heat is mainly 
consumed in melting snow and cannot contribute greatly 
to a rise of temperature, so that even in summer the air 
of the ocean must in general be warmer than that of the 
land, and the sea-breezes can exercise no great influence 
on the climate of the land. 

Our knowledge finally of the relative position of the 
south polar regions with respect to the universal circu- 
lation of the air on the globe and the influence this has 
on its climate, is as yet purely hypothetical. Hann l 

1 An eminent Austrian astronomer and geographer. — The translator. 


describes it in the latest edition of his Allgemeine 
Erdkunde somewhat as follows : " The north-west re- 
turn trade-wind of the southern hemisphere flows in the 
upper strata of the air from the Equator to the Pole, and 
according to theory it ought to blow due west to east 
between the latitudes of 6o° and yo° S. To replace the 
air sucked away from the Equator, air currents ought 
to be observed on the surface of the earth ; these starting 
from high southern latitudes as west-south-west winds, 
should in consequence of the earth's rotation gradually 
assume a south-west and a south direction till at last they 
became the south-east trade-wind. But instead of this 
we find on the vast oceanic surfaces of the southern 
hemisphere, between latitudes 40° and 6o° S., very violent 
and constant west winds, the " Roaring Forties " of 
English mariners. These owe their existence to the all 
but total absence of extensive tracts of land, which would 
create over large expanses of surface, in the southern 
summer, local minima, and in the southern winter local 
maxima of atmospheric pressure, and would thereby 
essentially alter the distribution of the winds. We find, 
on the contrary, in the southern summer, and still more 
in the southern winter, a strongly-marked zone of high 
atmospheric pressure, extending from 40° to 20 S., or 
even to the Equator ; the winds which radiate from the 
latter towards the south assume an easterly direction in 
consequence of the rotation of the earth, and circle round 
a zone of low atmospheric pressure which lies round the 
South Pole from the fortieth parallel, its maximum of 
depression coinciding possibly with the Antarctic circle. 
As the winds must in general tend towards this minimum 
of depression and towards its cyclones which pursue a 
west to east direction, any influence exercised by the 
constant west wind on the south polar lands must be 
largely reduced, these regions being situated mostly to 
the south of this belt of minimum of depression. If no 


extensive south polar lands existed, the west winds would 
probably whirl round the South Pole and actually reach 
it, and the south polar zone would then form a large 
continuous region of low barometric pressure." 

Having stated this general theory, we will now turn 
to the actual facts, or rather to the few isolated and 
scattered observations, which have been made on the 
climate and meteorology of the south polar regions. On 
one point it is indispensably necessary to be perfectly 
clear, viz. : that it is premature to give a truly satis- 
factory description of the climate of the south polar 
regions. Modern science requires as basis of such a 
description a series of careful observations of all the 
meteorological phenomena extending over a period of 
thirty-five years, as these alone supply mean values, 
which are fully reliable. Great, enormously great, is the 
difference between this ideal and our actual knowledge 
of the south polar regions. We possess isolated notices 
scattered over a period of more than a hundred years, 
or else series of observations of short duration, almost 
each of which refers to a different locality, but not a 
single series made on the same spot. The observations 
at our disposal have been made during circumnavigations 
of the Pole, or else on rapid advances south, none of 
which comprised a period of more than a few months. 
And finally, all have been made during the southern 
summer, whilst we know absolutely nothing of the long 
polar winter of the far south, there being no record, at 
least none of any scientific value, of a winter having 
been passed there. It follows that our description of 
the south polar regions can be no more than a circum- 
spect groping in the dark, and a scheduling of the few 
numerical observations from which further inferences 
may cautiously be drawn. 

The state of the temperature, being the most funda- 
mental element constituting climate, claims our first 


attention ; but unfortunately our knowledge of it is more 
incomplete than even that of wind and atmospheric 
pressure. Nevertheless what we know establishes the 
surprisingly low summer temperatures, which are beyond 
anything recorded of the Arctic regions. Floeberg Beach, 
for example, situated in latitude 82° 27' N. on the edge of 
a group of islands, and possibly near an extensive polar 
sea, shows in the warmest month a mean temperature 
of 3&'3° F. The mean summer temperature of the south 
polar regions is exhibited by the following tables, which 
are based on the observations so far made ; and it must 
be borne in mind that the temperature of the sea is 
considerably higher than that of the neighbouring ice- 
clad lands. 1 

1. Region of Victoria Land (Ross) : — 

Latitude. Air. Sea. 

6o° to 65° S. 30-38° F. 29-48° F. 

65° to 70° S. 29-66° F. 28-76° F. 

70° to 74° S. 28-22° F. 28-04° F. 

74° to 78° S. 24-98° F. 29-12° F. 

2. Region between longitude JJ° and 99° E. {Chal- 
lenger) : — 

60° to 66-30° S. 30-92° F. 3 2 "54°F. 

3. Region between longitude 6° and 58° W. (Ross) : — 

60° to 65° S. 30-92° F. 31-28° F. 

65° to 71° S. 29-48° F. 30-74° F. 

The extremes of temperature observed by Ross in 
the region of Victoria Land were : — 

Maxima: On 31st December, 1841, in latitude 66° 29' S., 
longitude i56°29' E., 43'5 2 ° F - 
On nth January, 1841, in latitude 71° 15' S.,. 
longitude i7i°i5' E., 40*46° F. 
Minima: On 3rd March, 1841, in latitude 67° 45' S., 
longitude 167V E., ir66°F. 
On 5th February, 1841, in latitude 77° n' S., 
longitude i57°52' W., 12*92° F. 

1 From Fricker's Antarctic Drift-ice, p. 89 and seq. 


' 235 

Wilkes found that the mean temperature for January 
and February on the coast of Wilkes Land was 30*2° 
F., and the extremes were 34'52° F. and 23° F. East 
of Graham's Land, Ross observed south of latitude 64 

•—'Isotherms of 10° & 

— „ „ b° in Aug. 

„ „ 10° & 

■//"JiA Region within 

which the isothermal 

line of 60° oscillates in 

the course of the year. 

Region within which the 

i mo Green*- "° isothermal line of 41° oscillates in the 

course of the year. 

„ 6° in February. 
Map of the distribution of temperature (after Neumayer — by Haardt). 

S. on the 6th of February, 1843, in latitude 64 12' S. 
and longitude 56 49/ VV. 5 a maximum of 44*96° F., but 
on the 15th of January, 1843, in latitude 64 32' S. 
and longitude 56° 53' W., a minimum temperature of 
23*54° F., that is to say. at a time of year which 
corresponds to the month of July, at the height of our 


summer. These numbers are confirmed, at least for the 
latter region, by the observations made by Bruce on 
board of the Balcena between latitudes 6i° and 64° 40' 
S. On the 15th of January, 1893, he noted a maximum 
of 37*22° F. in about latitude 64° S., and on the 17th of 
February, 1893, in about latitude 62 S., a minimum of 
20*84° F. The mean temperature of the second half 
of December and of the month of January was 31*1° F., 
and of the first half of February it was 30*56° F., both 
between the above-named latitudes, which correspond to 
southern Greenland, where on the narrow strip of coast 
between the sea and the inland ice, bushes of willows 
and alders, more than six feet high, are met with along 
the river banks, and where at Godthaab the mean July 
temperature is 43*52° F. 

The supposition that these unexpectedly low summer 
temperatures would be accompanied by relatively mild 
winters may possibly be disproved by future observations, 
or at best prove to hold good only for the South Shetland 
and South Orkney Islands, which are at a considerable 
distance north of the Antarctic circle, and naturally also 
for all those islands whose latitude is even lower than 
6o° S. The minimum thermometer left behind by Foster 
on Deception Island, and discovered in 1842 by Smiley, 
indicated a minimum temperature of — 4° F. Considering 
the protected position, and the volcanic nature of the 
insular bay, this record may not supply a standard, 
nevertheless it is interesting. On the other hand the 
observations made at the German station in South 
Georgia in Moltke Haven show a mean annual tempera- 
ture of 37*52° F. ; February was the warmest month, 
■<in(\ showed a mean temperature of 41*54° F. ; the coldest 
month was June, with a mean temperature of 26*78° F. 
On the hottest clay, the 1 ith of February, the thermometer 
stood at 64*04° F., on the coldest day, the 23rd of July, it 
stood at 19-86° F 


If at the comparatively low latitude of 54 S., in a 
climate that is purely oceanic, albeit greatly modified by 
the ice covering of the island, such low winter tempera- 
tures are recorded, it is obvious that much lower readings 
of the thermometer must prevail in the winters of the 
Antarctic regions proper, i.e., south of the Antarctic circle. 
In the winter half-year, when no heat comes in at all, 
radiation from this country, wholly covered as it is with 
ice and snow, must produce an intense cold of the air 
resting over the country, and in connection therewith a 
barometric maximum at least as high as that of eastern 
Siberia. The winds originating there must contribute 
their share to the formation both of the more or less 
complete ice coating covering the bays that penetrate 
deeply into the land, and of the narrow belt of sea ice 
along the northern coast. Although the very powerful 
breakers of the southern ocean may, in numerous places, 
reduce the ice covering to fragments, yet even such a 
partially-closed ice covering will prevent the sea from 
effectually warming the air resting over the land. Thus 
it happens that the ice mantle has the same climatic 
effect as land has, and contributes to the increase in space 
of the thermometric minimum and barometric maximum. 

The causes of the extraordinary low summer tempera- 
tures even of the sea are naturally, like all the climatic 
phenomena of the south polar regions, still hidden from 
us ; judging by the scanty observations so far made, 
three causes might be suggested. Firstly, the complete 
glaciation of Antarctic lands, which must reduce by air 
currents the temperature of the surface of the sea and of 
the atmosphere resting over it ; secondly, the enormous 
ice masses formed in the sea itself, in the shape of sheets, 
blocks, or most numerous and gigantic icebergs ; thirdly, 
the heavy clouds hovering over the Antarctic waters 
which often, if not always, absorb the heat of the sun just 
in summer. During all his three voyages Ross has within 


6o° S. noted only one single day when seven-eighths of the 
sky was cloudless ; at other times dense masses of clouds 
commonly filled the upper strata of the air, whilst impene- 
trable mist and fog lay over the sea, and fully shrouded 
the ice masses to the great danger of navigation. 
Reasoning from analogy of the Arctic regions, one is led 
to assume that the cloud covering is largely reduced in 
the winter months, so that the heavy clouds of summer 
obstruct the admission of the sun's rays, and the clearer 
sky in winter favours excessive radiation, both circum- 
stances thus combining to reduce the temperature. 

The distribution of Atmospheric Pressure presents 
phenomena as extreme as that of temperature. As- 
suming the existence of a water surface right to the 
Pole, atmospheric pressure ought, according to Hann's 
theory, to diminish as the latitude increases. As a matter 
of fact the Antarctic regions seem to exhibit permanent 
depressions of the barometer, such as occur elsewhere 
only in the centre of progressive cyclones. On the basis 
of the observations made by Ross, Hann has calculated 
the mean barometric values of the southern summer in 
Ross Sea for the years 1840-41 and 1841-42 as follows : — 

Latitudes. 6o°-67° 65°-7i° 7o°-75° 75°-78°. 

Pressure in Inches 29-122 29*031 28*898 28*968. 

According to the observations of Wilkes (who reduced 
his values to latitude 45° 1 ), the mean values for January 
and February, 1840, for the coast of Wilkes Land (i.e., 
for about the Antarctic circle) amount to 28*846 inches, 
consequently to considerably less than even the values 
recorded by Ross. This is probably due to the fact 
that along the northern coast of Wilkes Land a main 
track of cyclones seems to lie. Observations made east 
of Graham's Land show a somewhat higher pressure. 

1 We are not informed if Wilkes' barometric measures have been 
corrected according to temperature. 



A mean atmospheric pressure of 29*264 inches (reduced 
to 32° F. and 45 latitude) for the latitudes between 6i° 
and 64° 3c/ S., and for the time intervening between the 
middle of December, 1892, and the middle of February, 
1893, ma y De deduced from the values recorded by Bruce. 

..-(.Isobars actually x^ • * ] ^~J^Bsl \ \ { ^" " ^ Direction of wind 

— 1 observed. "NsV \"~ ^> \ \-^>^o actually observed. 

.__ Isobars based on ^>^^/ _L-rfJ — ™> ^ "- Direction of wind 

theor *- *'^™ m PS», tloGnZ S™*®" based on theory. 

Map of the distribution of atmospheric pressure (in inches) and of the winds (after 

Murray — v. Haardt). 

The observations of Ross for the same latitudes, but 
restricted to the space between 57 30' S. and 12 W., 
indicate the similarly corrected value of 29*193 inches, but 
for latitudes 65° to 71 S., and between 17° and f W., 
only 28*949 inches. 


The observations of Ross show that in the highest 
latitudes of Ross Sea the atmospheric pressure increases 
somewhat towards the south, and, to judge by the 
direction of the Winds, the same, no doubt, holds for the 
masses of Antarctic lands, although we know as little 
of their barometric as we know of their thermometric 
phenomena. Nearly all the reports of Antarctic dis- 
coverers agree that in the higher latitudes, i.e., in those 
regions where an advance farther south was no longer 
possible, the prevailing winds came from the southern 
or south-eastern quarter of the sky. The districts of the 
Dirk Gerritz Archipelago and of the northern group of 
islands seem to be an exception to this rule, as they are 
under the influence of the permanent west winds owing 
to the small areas of the land masses ; on the other hand 
the not infrequent south-west winds, which Ross observed 
on the east coast of Victoria Land, are easily explained 
by the western position of the country. We are compelled 
then to assume that over the Antarctic land itself 
barometric high pressure constantly prevails, corre- 
sponding to the unbroken low temperature, and from this 
region radiate those southern winds, which owing to the 
axial motion of the earth are diverted to the left and 
become south-east winds. 

How to harmonise the circumpolar anticyclone de- 
duced from these observations with the cyclone demanded 
by theory, is a question still involved in obscurity, and 
the solution of this problem must be left to future 
discoverers, who may possibly pass the winter in those 
inhospitable regions. The cause of the high pressure 
is probably due to the powerful radiation of the land 
and to the consequent chilling of the atmosphere, at least 
at low elevations. To observe the direction of the winds 
in the upper strata of the atmosphere, it may prove 
advisable to send up trial balloons, and to study the 
cirrhus clouds, and possibly also the clouds of ashes from 


volcanoes. It is easy to imagine circumstances when 
reliable conclusions may be drawn from these indications 
concerning the direction of the winds in the several 
superimposed strata of air. As the area of the centre 
of cold over the ice-clad sea may be expected to be 
enlarged during the winter, it may follow that the 
anticyclone may also extend radially over the surface 
of the sea. This conjecture receives support from the 
fact that in Drake Strait frequent east and south-east 
winds have been observed in the southern winter, which 
are almost entirely absent in the southern summer. And 
finally it is just this general distribution of south and 
south-east winds which lends support to the assumption 
that the south polar regions consist principally of masses 
of land, as these alone are able to give birth to constant 

Finally the last of the climatic elements, Precipitation, 
seems to present great peculiarities, which it would be 
specially interesting to observe in the summer months. 
Arguing from analogy with the Arctic regions we infer 
that in the Antarctic when the whole ice-clad surface, 
land as well as water, consists of a uniform heat-radiating 
area, a dryness of the atmosphere must prevail such as 
accompanies every anticyclone, and this must be extreme 
here, in consequence of the very low state of the 
thermometer. This dryness, however, finds expression 
in the absolute moisture of the air ; whilst, on the con- 
trary, the relative moisture would have to be very high. 
Over the inland ice of Greenland, Nansen found a 
relative moisture averaging 94 per cent., but an absolute 
moisture of only 2 mm. (= -008 inch) of vapour-tension, 
and a similar condition may assuredly be assumed to 
exist in the Antarctic regions. The very scanty absolute 
moisture is due to the exceedingly low temperature, the 
large relative moisture to the surface of the ground 
being covered with snow, which even at low temperature 



dries up and forms water-vapour. Thus the cold 
ground alternately deprives the air of its moisture by 
condensation, and returns it again by evaporation. The 
rents and gaps in the ice covering of the sea, forming 
large open spaces, constitute in winter an additional 
source of moisture, whilst from the open sea beyond, 
the supply of moisture cannot be of any consequence — 
at least not that supplied by winds which were blowing 
polewards at no great height above the ground, as in 
consequence of the distribution of barometric pressure 
these winds are of rare occurrence. This does not, 
however, in our opinion, exclude the possibility of 
moisture being supplied by the upper air currents, which 
feed the polar anticyclones. Assuming the temperature 
of the ascending air in the zone of depression round the 
Pole to be 32° F., and the heights of ascent to be about 
6,000 feet, there would result from it a reduction of the 
temperature of the air of some 35° to 36° F., that is to 
say, that by far the greater part of the precipitation must 
be in a solid form. But now it must be assumed that 
the precipitation of moisture out of the air must, at 
least in the higher regions, be in the shape, not of 
large flakes of snow, but of very minute ice-needles, 
which are carried mechanically towards the interior of 
the country by those stormy winds which at a great 
height flow off to the anticyclone. As the air gradually 
descends and thus grows warmer, a portion of the con- 
densed moisture brought in may evaporate, only to be 
immediately again condensed by the colder strata of air 
resting over the surface of the land, since it is most 
probable that over the Antarctic land, in winter at least, 
there exists on the whole the well-known reversed state 
of the temperature of the atmosphere, which on ascending 
from the ground first shows an increase to be turned into 
a decrease at great heights. The purely hypothetically- 
assumed height of the in-streaming winds is probably 


not required to produce these phenomena, at least not 
with land of low elevation, whilst with Victoria Land, for 
example, it would have to be still more considerable. 

The state of things must be different in the southern 
summer, if not in principle, at least in effect, as the large 
vapour-supplying water surfaces of the open basins of 
Ross Sea and Weddell Sea, and possibly also other still 
unknown bays or gulfs, make their influence felt in the 
Antarctic regions. Over these regions the air, probably 
still cold, but in comparison with winter much warmer, 
may be abundantly charged with water-vapour, which is 
carried partly perhaps to the coasts by sea-breezes, but 
mainly to the interior in the manner above indicated. In 
summer the relative moisture in the air over the Antarctic 
waters is very great ; on 30 per cent, to 40 per cent, of 
the days that Ross passed within 6o° S. it amounted to 
100 per cent., in other words, the air was saturated with 
moisture ; the number of days when the relative moisture 
was 100 per cent, between 74 and j&° S. was small, 
amounting only to 25*8 per cent, of the total number of 
days. On the remaining days it hovered near the point 
of saturation, whilst low numbers were observed only 
twice, viz. : 62*5 per cent, in the neighbourhood of Mount 
Erebus, accompanied by a rising temperature and a wind 
coming from the land, consequently a kind of Fohn, and 
52*6 per cent, at the edge of the pack-ice, accompanied 
by an east wind proceeding from it. 

The precipitation in the southern summer corresponds 
with the state of relative moisture prevailing over the sea. 
As has already been observed, water-vapour rises inces- 
santly from the sea, and if this moisture penetrates cold 
air, it generates the fogs which are so frequent a pheno- 
menon of the Antarctic waters ; and if, in addition, land 
winds bring this air in contact with the much colder air 
of their place of origin the fog is succeeded or accompanied 
by snow. Wilkes expressly says, that the winds from 


the southern quadrant occasionally bring clear weather 
interrupted by snowstorms, whilst the northern winds 
generate dense fogs, and Bruce says the same thing. 

Most commonly precipitation takes the form of snow, 
rain is comparatively rare, and dew and hoar frost make 
considerable contributions. Ross noticed on 31 per cent, 
of the days some rainfalls in form of passing showers at 
a latitude south of 70° S. ; persistent rain on the 11th 
of February, 1842, at 70° 6' S. and 178 18' W., and the 
last rain altogether on the 29th of January, 1841, in yy° 
47 ; S. and 176° 43' E. Wilkes and Dumont d'Urville 
also experienced heavy rainfalls, but at the considerably 
lower latitudes of Wilkes Land and Louis-Philippe Land. 
Hail, on the other hand, occurs but rarely ; Wilkes alone 
reports two instances — he mentions also sleet, and draws 
special attention to the important part played by the 
formation of dew. On one occasion he observed that 
during a fog a crust of ice nearly a quarter of an inch in 
thickness had been formed within a few hours. 

The snowfall is of far more importance in Antarctic 
regions' than all the other forms of precipitation, since 
it is even in the open sea by no means restricted to the 
winter season. Ross observed in the southern summer 
of 1840-41, south of latitude 70 S., that it snowed on 
57*6 per cent, of the days of observation ; in the summer 
following on 62 per cent, of the days, and finally in the 
summer of 1842-43, when he was east of Graham's Land, 
on 68*8 per cent, of the days. The form of the snow- 
crystals depends, of course, on the temperature, yet 
full-shaped large flakes of the familiar crystals apparently 
occur but rarely ; most commonly the snow assumes the 
shape of small fine ice-needles. These, no doubt, pre- 
ponderate on land, as seems proved by the occurrence 
of snow-drifts at Mount Haddington and Wilkes Land, 
as well as the formation of snow-mounds on Adelie Land, 
and a glance at the low temperature fully explains this. 


About the amount of precipitation it is, of course, as yet 
impossible to make any positive statement ; in summer 
it is probably very considerable, both at sea and on the 
coasts; in the interior of the land, and in winter, it is 
likely to be slight, and, moreover, to gradually diminish 
as the Pole is approached. 

In conclusion, and as an appendix to the description 
of the" climate, short mention may be made of a 
phenomenon, which is not intelligibly connected with 
climate, but rather proceeds from the magnetism of the 
globe, namely the Polar Light, which corresponds to 
the Northern Light, and is in contradistinction called 
the Southern Light, or the Aurora Australis. In ap- 
pearance it does not seem to differ from the Aurora 
Borealis, although the southern display exhibits more 
rays than bands of light. Like the northern lights so 
also do those of the south shine forth most frequently 
and most brilliantly in a zone whose centre does not 
coincide with the astronomical pole of the globe, but 
appears to be displaced in the direction of the magnetic 
pole of the southern hemisphere, which must be looked 
for in the south-western districts of Victoria Land. This 
explains the almost total absence of observation of the 
Aurora Australis from the South Atlantic Ocean ; for 
example : from the polar stations in South Georgia, and 
from Cape Horn, not a single instance of a polar 
light is recorded in the year of observation of 1882-83, 
whilst they were not uncommonly noticed by ships on 
the way to New Zealand and south-east Australia, and 
of course also in both these countries themselves. 

On the whole much less is known of the southern 
light than of the northern, its proper domain falling into 
regions scarcely ever visited by man. 


The extremely low temperature of the summer, and 
still more that of winter, and the consequent precipitation 
of water in solid form, i.e., of snow, produce the mighty 
ice covering of land and sea which impress on both the 
polar regions their characteristic feature, and without 
which we cannot so much as imagine the high latitudes 
of our globe. There exists, however, as great a difference 
in both the sea ice and the glacial or land ice of the 
northern and southern polar regions as between their two 
climates, especially their summer temperatures. In the 
lands of high northern latitudes there are extensive tracts, 
where, in the warm season, after the snow has melted, 
not only the bare rocks appear, but there are surfaces 
covered with a vegetation that under the circumstances 
might even be called luxuriant. Spitzbergen, situated 
between 78° and 8o° N., supports large herds of reindeer, 
lemming rats and Alpine hares ; the same holds good both 
of East and West Greenland — the home of an abundant 
fauna — and of the true polar regions of Northern Asia and 
America. The Antarctic regions, on the other hand, ex- 
hibit nothing of the kind. Excepting on the island of South 
Georgia, situated in latitude 54 to 55° S., i.e., at a polar 
distance corresponding to that of Northern England, and 
in the South Shetland Isles, we find that only in summer 
the snow disappears in places, but even there not very 
extensively, whilst all the rest of these southern lands 
lie even at midsummer wholly buried under snow and 

ice. In high northern latitudes gigantic icebergs drift 


THE ICE. 247 

annually into the North Atlantic, and collect off the 
coast of Newfoundland. They all originate in the island- 
studded Arctic Ocean, where the intense frosts of winter 
form huge ice masses over wide, albeit varying, extent ; 
part of which are in summer melted on the spot, part 
drift farther south to meet the same fate, whilst a not 
inconsiderable quantity retains its solid form, as happens, 
for example, over the vast regions north of Behring Strait. 
In the Antarctic regions, on the other hand, we have 
shown in our history of discovery that after bursting 
through a zone of pack-ice, which was not immoderately 
thick, a sea was reached which was but slightly beset 
with ice, no matter whether it was water washing the 
coast, or open, extensive sea surfaces like the Ross Sea 
and Weddell Sea. From this it follows that in the Arctic 
regions the sea ice largely preponderates over the land ice, 
which comes almost exclusively from Greenland, whilst in 
the Antarctic regions the reverse takes place, that is to 
say, that the land ice preponderates over the sea ice. 
This is one more clear indication of the difference in 
the distribution of land and water in the two hemispheres. 
This the present author has elsewhere formulated thus : 
" The northern hemisphere possesses a closed-in polar 
ocean and a polar edge of the land ; the southern 
hemisphere a closed-in polar continent (or polar archi- 
pelago) and a polar edge of the oceans ". The effects 
of this contrast are obvious. The islands sporadically- 
scattered within the north polar basin, and also the 
northern edges of the continents, are subject to the 
influence of a continental dry climate ; the amount of 
snow precipitated upon them is mostly too small to 
produce a glaciation of the land, and consequently the 
summer warmth is sufficient to liquefy the snow in the^ 
lower regions, and to cause the drift-ice of the glaciers 
(the icebergs) to recede. Conversely, in the Antarctic 
regions, exceedingly low temperatures prevail even in 


summer, so low that they hardly anywhere suffice to 
melt the snow, whilst in the boundless open ocean the 
formation of an uninterrupted sheet of ice is prevented 
by its perpetual violent agitation ; and this is so all the 
more, because the occasional nuclei for ice formations 
in the shape of scattered larger island groups in those 
distant southern seas are absent ; hence again the pre- 
ponderance of icebergs, and the relative insignificance 
of sea ice. 

Land ice or glacier ice is admittedly in its origin 
snow in a changed form. In our temperate zones, in the 
Alps for example, the dry powdery snow, falling at a 
high elevation, is swept by the wind into lower valleys, 
where it collects in wide hollows — the birthplaces of 
glaciers. Here the snow masses accumulate and reach 
down to a certain height, called the Snow Line, below 
which the temperature of the air is sufficient to liquefy 
the snow. 1 The thaw of the summer day, succeeded by 
the frosts of night, causes the ice to assume a granulated 
shape, and gives it the peculiar character indicated by 
the terms " Firn-snow " and " Firn-ice ". 2 Finally, under 
the pressure of the snow masses heaped up in the course 
of years, glacial ice is formed, which flows down at 
varying rates. 

These phenomena do not present themselves in the 
south polar districts, or, to speak more correctly, they 

1 This definition of the Snow Line is sufficient for the purpose in 
hand ; for a fuller and more accurate definition, see Tyndall on The 
Forms of Water. — The Translator. 

2 The cognate word of "fern" is "far". Hence "Firnewein" 
means "far wine," old wine, wine of a distant or old vintage; similarly 
" Firnschnee," and "Firneis" mean snow and ice distant both in space 
(being found at a high elevation), and in time (being the accumulated 
snow and ice of many winters). We have no corresponding term in 
English ; possibly the words of our text may prove acceptable.— The 

THE K'E. 249 

occur only partially and in altered shape. To begin 
with, true liquefaction to any considerable extent is all 
but entirely absent in the Antarctic regions. In South 
Georgia certainly the Snow Line is somewhat high ; on 
the summits of the north coast, which attain a height 
of 2,500 feet, the snow wholly disappears, and on the 
Ross glacier the limit of the " Firn," but not of the 
Snow Line, is at an elevation of 1,150 feet. But only 
a few degrees farther south, viz., on the northern 
extremity of the South Shetland Isles, we find a con- 
siderable depression of the Snow Line, although the 
observations needful to determine its position with full 
accuracy are still wanting ; Larsen found on Livingston 
Island that in the latter half of the month of December 
the Snow Line was at 100 feet above the level of the 
sea ; no doubt in February it would be somewhat higher. 
There are also bare places on lofty mountains, and on 
steep descents farther south, but this is due to orographic, 
not to climatic causes. As for the Snow Line south of 
Bransfield Strait, or of Bismarck Strait, and in Enderby 
Land, Wilkes Land and Victoria Land, it is impossible 
to say with absolute certainty that it is at the level of 
the sea, since Cape Adare shows that even flat land or 
slopes but slightly inclined may wholly lose their snow 
covering. Where the coast is covered on all sides with 
inland ice descending from great heights, there may still 
be some spots protected against that ice, where the 
summer sun may under circumstances succeed in removing 
the coat of snow up to a certain height. Such phenomena 
are, however, exceptional, and cannot affect the total im- 
press of the Antarctic regions. It may be accepted as 
a general statement, that with the exception of South 
Georgia, the South Sandwich Isles, the South Orkney 
Isles, and the South Shetland Isles, the Snow Line in 
the Antarctic regions seems to coincide with the level 
of the sea, and that in consequence outside these islands 


water in a liquid state is entirely absent. In South 
Georgia water-brooks are common in summer, and near 
the German station a permanent spring even has been 
discovered. Similarly there occur in summer on the 
South Shetland Isles, which alone are somewhat better 
known to us, brooks formed by the melting of snow and 

The non-melting of the snow is of necessity accom- 
panied by a change in its transformation. If it does 
melt near the coast, it is sure to do so somewhat more 
vigorously at some elevation, leading on the islands, just 
spoken of, to the formation of the firn-snow with which 
we are familiar, albeit that the process will be more 
sluggish owing to the reduced summer temperature and 
to the much shorter periods. But on the larger tracts of 
land farther south these circumstances are completely 
altered. There the dry powdery snow is, even in the 
height of summer and at no great elevation, driven about 
by the wind and piled up in huge snow-drifts, and the 
melting of the snow can be of no great moment. It is 
certainly very doubtful if active melting of the snow, 
such as leads to the formation of brooks, and as we 
witness on the Greenland coast, can take place ; the 
hollowed out forms of the inland ice observed by Dumont 
d'Urville on Adelie Land may possibly be mere clefts 
in the ice ; nevertheless the big icicles of the great wall 
of ice prove that even in high southern latitudes vigorous 
melting does take place. Until minute observations, 
similar to those made in the north by Peary, Von 
Drygalski, and others, have been made on the spot, we 
can rely in our speculations on the formation of Antarctic 
land ice solely on what has been actually seen, viz., the 
icebergs, which are not inland ice. It is no longer 
subject to doubt, that their origin is to be traced to the 
ice covering of Antarctic lands terminating in the abrupt 
perpendicular walls along the coast, spoken of in the 

THE ICE. 251 

previous chapter ; these icebergs then, frequently and 
accurately observed, may be accepted at least pro- 
visionally, as a substitute for the investigations to be 
made on land, concerning the transformation of snow 
into glacier ice. 

All Antarctic travellers have been struck by the 
peculiar stratification of the icebergs, which with newly- 
formed bergs runs in parallel horizontal lines with the 
upper surface. These strata, consisting of snow-white 
and deep cobalt-blue ice, alternate from top to bottom, 
but they are not of uniform thickness ; at a great eleva- 

Iceberg seen on 23rd February, 1874 (from the Challenger 's Reports). 

tion above the sea-level, near the surface of the berg, 
the still undulating white strata are some four feet thick, 
the blue strata being comparatively very thin ; but, as 
we descend lower down, the white strata diminish and the 
blue increase in thickness, till, with a berg about eighty feet 
high at a distance of sixty to seventy feet from the surface,, 
the white strata measure only one foot or so in thickness, 
and at last disappear altogether, so that the mass below the 
surface of the water consists almost entirely of ice that 
is perfectly blue and transparent. An original experiment 
made by the Challenger supplies satisfactory information 


about the texture of these two kinds of ice. Shots were 
fired at a berg from a 12-pr. gun, first at the blue ice 
near the surface of the sea, with the effect that large 
masses were splintered off and hurled into the water, 
thus proving that the blue ice was hard and brittle. The 
second shot entered a broad white stratum near the upper 
surface of the berg without producing any effect whatever, 
whence it is inferred that these strata consist of soft, un- 
resisting material, in fact, of snow or firn, that had under- 
gone little alteration. Now, the question arises : How 
does the snow from the deep hollows change into strata 
of blue, hard ice, which at first are thin and gradually 
increase in thickness? The best solution of this problem 
seems to be supplied by Nansen's observations on the 
inland ice of central Greenland. Here the climatic con- 
ditions of the south polar regions are repeated, apparently 
aided by the considerable elevation above the sea-level. 
The snow falls in the shape of a very fine crystallised 
powder all the year round, but mostly so in summer. 
Although the conditions are more favourable, still the 
sun is at that elevation no longer able to do more than 
slightly melt the snow and moisten its surface ; this 
freezes again at night, so that no part of it filters through 
and converts the snow into coarsely-granulated firn-ice. 
Nansen, too, found at the end of August, the first and some- 
what thicker, hard crust beneath the thin surface crusts 
formed in the same summer, at a depth of three to four 
feet, and sometimes at a less depth. We are led then to 
assume for the Antarctic regions also that in the height 
of summer the sun is able to melt the surface of the snow 
often marked by light undulations produced by the wind. 
If, then, such a stratum of one year's melting is com- 
pressed by the superincumbent strata of many years, the 
volume of the loose snow between the two hard crusts must 
be reduced by the contraction of the air-containing pores. 
I conjecture, however, that the layer of snow placed over 

Forms of Icebergs (after the Challenger Reports). [Face page 252. 

1-3. Seen on 14th February, 1874. 
4. Seen on 15th February, 1874. 

THE ICE. 253 

a thin ice stratum (in Greenland it is '5 to 7 inches thick) 
must be crushed upon it, and thus be brought into close 
contact with the finely-granulated crystals of this firn- 
snow or ice, be absorbed by it, and thus added to increase 
its volume. The same process must be repeated on the 
lower surface of the stratum of ice, as this also is pressed 
upon the deeper lying snow beneath it. Thus, these 
sheets of ice grow in thickness by increasing their volume, 
but the layers of snow diminish by reduction of their mass 
and volume, and gradually change into hard, air-enclosing 
ice ; how this air is expelled is still unknown, but the 
final result of the whole process of transformation is the 
brilliant pure blue ice of the lowest strata of the whole 

In some cases the formation of this pure blue ice will 
not be completed, not indeed in consequence of some 
change in the process of transformation, but because of 
the entry of foreign substances. Mention has been made 
in former places of ^rw-bearing icebergs, and it was 
pointed out that sometimes the imbedded masses are 
also distinctly stratified. In some regions, especially in 
the more remote neighbourhood of periodically active 
volcanoes, the ashes are strewn over the snow at every 
period of eruption, and these are then at the periods of 
rest covered by snow masses more or less thick. Upon 
a transverse section such as these icebergs exhibit, these 
strata are seen as fine brown or blackish stripes. Such 
kind of bergs, whose upper surface also is occasionally 
coloured brown by solid substances, have been seen by 
Bruce and by the members of the Challenger expedition. 
Future investigations may possibly show that the green 
colour of icebergs occasionally noticed is due to inorganic 
substances distributed through the whole mass of the 
berg. In many cases the rubble imbedded in the ice 
is not stratified, being derived from moraines, which have 
been uninterruptedly received. Such bergs Wilkes has 


seen most frequently. Drygalski has collected very 
instructive instances for such kind of formations in 
Greenland. We must forbear describing these highly 
interesting phenomena from want of space, but we may 
hold fast to the theory that the alternate white and blue 
sheets of Antarctic ice are due to real stratification, 
different from the structure of blue foliations of the 
Alpine glaciers which are mostly traceable to the 
movements of the glaciers. 

With respect to the distribution of the land ice, and 
its descent to the coast, a marked difference is noticeable 
between the Arctic and Antarctic regions. As far as it 
is known, the Greenland ice nowhere reaches the coast 
in an unbroken mass ; only in the valleys of the fjords, 
which cut deeply into its edge, the ice, rent by mighty 
clefts, falls sheer into the sea. Numerous rocky summits, 
the so-called Nunatak, raise their bare heads within the 
whole circuit of this terminal zone, and not till a long way 
inland do we find that the ice has a compact surface free 
from clefts. In the Antarctic regions, on the contrary, 
we do not meet, as has so often been asserted, an ice 
cap covering the whole land and hiding all differences 
of level, but an ice mantle which, no doubt, fully envelops 
the country, but adapts itself to the large configurations 
of the ground without obliterating them. This is clearly 
obvious from all the descriptions, both verbal and pictorial. 
The information we possess at present does not enable 
us to account for this, but the nature of the ice in the 
interior will be one of the problems that future investigators 
will have to study. It may perhaps be ascribed to 
the almost universally low summer temperatures in the 
far south and along the coast, and to the same cause 
may be due the apparently slow motion of the inland ice 
in the Antarctic lands, which may be inferred from the 
regular horizontal stratification exhibited by the icebergs. 

As might have been expected, nothing has as yet 

Forms of Icebergs (after the Challenger Reports). 

i. Seen on 15th February, 1874. 

2-4. Seen on 16th February, 1874. 

5. Seen on 19th February, 1874. 

[Face page 254. 

THE ICE. 255 

been discovered concerning the mode of movement of 
the Antarctic inland ice. It is sure to be sluggish and 
uniform over extensive tracts, as otherwise the inland ice 
would hardly terminate along the sea in an uninterrupted 
wall of such extraordinary length — a phenomenon seen in 
Greenland, only in the rivers of ice that descend into the 
fjords. This is just the specially characteristic feature of 
the Antarctic regions that even on small, level isles, such 
as Dundee Island, the ice, which cannot be very thick, 
descends to the sea and terminates in a perpendicular 
wall. In this particular case the thickness of the ice is 
only 30 feet to 40 feet ; at Adelaide Isle it was even less ; 
and quite as low, or only a mere trifle higher, at Snow 
Land, east of Mount Haddington. On the other hand, 
the wall of ice at Joinville Island, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of Enderby Land, attains a height of about 
100 feet, and in the region of Wilkes Land and Victoria 
Land, heights of 100 feet to 200 feet are of common 
occurrence. In these very regions we find the most 
extensive walls of ice, viz., those off the Clarie coast, 
and one of still greater length east of Mount Terror. 
Both of these formations used to perplex geographers 
very greatly ; they were regarded as very old formations 
of sea ice, because with the wall off the Clarie coast the 
fact was overlooked that Wilkes had seen land behind 
it, and, with that to the east of Mount Terror, that its 
gradual transition into a wall of ice at the foot of the 
great volcanoes made it probable that it was a natural 
formation of land ice. Wherever up to now land has 
been distinctly seeu behind the large walls of ice, it was 
observed that its terminal wall was almost regularly some 
nautical miles off the recognisable beginning of the land, 
and the same applies to the more isolated ice rivers 
which descend from the Admiralty Range in Victoria 
Land. That in most, if not in all, cases these walls 
float was proved by soundings made on one occasion 


and is, moreover, to be inferred from the height of 
icebergs near the walls, which are uniform with it, and 
are undoubtedly floating masses. How far out into the 
sea this floating ice is swept it is impossible to tell ; but, 
considering the enormous horizontal dimensions ot the 
icebergs, this distance must often be very considerable. 
This fact throws a brilliant light on the well-known 
theory of the melting of the icebergs. Sir John Ross's 
theory that the difference of temperature between the 
intensely cold upper surface and the much warmer 
lower surface of the icebergs causes extreme tension, 
and ultimately in winter the severance of the berg, may 
turn out to be a true solution of the problem. Another, 

•£.;- - — - 

Iceberg, after an original water colour of the Challenger Expedition. 

albeit merely occasional, cause of the severance of 
especially enormous ice masses may be very violent 
volcanic eruptions, and the waves generated by them ; 
it is possible that some occurrences of this kind may be 
responsible for the colossal ice-drifts of the years 1891 
to 1896. 

The height of these floating walls of ice, and the 
icebergs newly detached from them, affords the only 
means at our disposal for an approximate estimate of 
the thickness of the Antarctic inland ice. Croll, for 
example, the eminent student of the glacial periods 
assumed a maximum thickness of 120,000 to 130,000 
feet, but sober observation by no means bears out this 



» * v 

4S& A***" * 



Forms of Icebergs (after the Challenger Reports). 

i, 2. Seen on 21st February, 1874. 

3. Seen on 22nd February, 1874. 

4. Seen on 25th February, 1874. 

[Face page 256. 

THE ICE. 257 

estimate. The greatest heights observed of perfectly 
new bergs with horizontal upper surfaces and vertical 
flanks do not exceed 200 feet above the water ; 250 feet 
has, in fact, never been observed with any reliable degree 
of certainty. On the usual basis of calculation, this mass 
visible above water would correspond to a nine-fold 
thickness below, i.e., to 1,800 feet under the surface of 
the sea, and from this it would result that the total 
thickness of the iceberg would be about 2,000 feet. But 
even this calculation is an overestimate, because the 
fact is ignored that the mass above the water is speci- 
fically lighter than that below, and is therefore borne by 
a less volume of the denser mass. The submerged part 
may possibly be no more than six-sevenths of the total 
height, which would give to a freshly-formed berg of an 
average maximum height above water a total thickness of 
1,400 to 1,500 feet. If it is further taken into considera- 
tion that it is just the submerged part which generally 
is the chief carrier of the rock and rubble brought away 
imbedded in the ice from the birthplace of the glacier, 
one might under circumstances assume a thickness even 
less than that just named. The theoretical calculation 
of Sir Wyville Thomson leads to the conclusion that 
1,400 feet is the maximum thickness that the inland ice 
can attain, for a greater superincumbent volume would 
by its pressure liquefy the lowest stratum ; this, however, 
assumes that the temperature of the lower surface was 
at 32 F., which according to Drygalski's observations in 
Greenland need not necessarily be the case. 

If Sir W. Thomson's conjecture is correct, then it 
might further be expected that the Antarctic inland ice 
is melting underneath — at least slowly — the whole year 
round : precisely the same as Nansen has shown to be 
happening with the ice of Greenland. If this be not 
so, then icebergs would be the only means for removing 

the Antarctic inland ice — a mode which brings the 



Antarctic regions into close relation with the rest of the 
earth's surface. 

The horizontal dimensions of the icebergs vary 
greatly ; in high latitudes a length of i i to 3 or 3! 
miles is by no means uncommon, and, indeed, some 
masses are greatly in excess of these measurements. 
For example, the largest seen by Bruce was more than 
30 miles long ; and another, seen by several ships in 
April and May of 1892 in the South Atlantic, in lati- 
tude 42 to 46° S. and longitude 30 to 36° W., exceeded 
40 miles in length. As these gigantic ice masses are also 
correspondingly broad, their surface areas must measure 
some thousands of square miles. The years 1891 to 
1896 were remarkable for the appearance of ice masses 
both numerous and so enormously large that they drifted 
far into the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. 

The drift of the icebergs and their distribution over 
the great expanse of the southern ocean is a phenomenon 
of supreme importance, both for the study of physical 
geography and for the material interests of navigation. 
After an Antarctic iceberg has been detached from its 
native wall of ice, it may primarily be subject to the im- 
pulse of the winds blowing from the land or from the 
inland ice, and also to such tidal currents as may occur 
near them. But, at some distance from the land, it is 
swept along by the force of the true oceanic currents — a 
force which must beyond all doubt greatly exceed that of 
the winds, as the submerged part of the berg is larger 
than the part above water, not only in volume but also 
in mass. It is true that the currents of the ocean travel 
at a slower rate than those of the air, nevertheless the 
impetus given to the berg by a given volume of water 
must be much greater than that imparted by a like volume 
of air ; and as, moreover, a considerably greater mass of 
the berg is set in motion by the water than by the air, it 
follows that at least in the higher latitudes the path pur- 

THE ICE. 259 

sued by the berg must depend mainly on the direction of 
the prevailing oceanic currents. Under favourable cir- 
cumstances this phenomenon might be utilised to observe 
the deep-sea currents ; for, since an iceberg, like every 
other floating body, must direct its line of gravity parallel 
to the impelling current, the longitudinal axis of the berg 
must indicate the constant currents prevailing beneath the 
changing currents on the surface. 

The oceanic currents of the Antarctic regions, on 
which the distribution of the icebergs mainly depends, 
are as yet known very little — practically not at all. In 
the neighbourhood of Graham's Land, and generally 
between it and Cape Horn, regular and comparatively 
rapid westward currents have been observed ; they are 
due to the regular west winds, and to their extensive 
drifts crowded into a proportionately small space and 
forming a belt round the great southern ocean, which 
extends up to and beyond 6o° S. In the higher latitudes 
the currents seem naturally to follow the winds in the 
same manner; they are, therefore, principally pursuing 
a north-west direction, and gradually become a western 
drift current. 

Near their places of origin the masses of ice, some- 
times in huge numbers — witness the voyages of Wilkes, 
D'Urville and Ross — disperse far and wide over the 
expanse of ocean as the parallels of latitude increase in 
size, till at last they disappear in the warmer waters 
between the latitudes of 50° and 40° S. In the regions 
visited by trading vessels a certain periodicity has been 
observed in the frequency of icebergs. Barring excep- 
tions, pre-eminently the giants seen in the years 1891 to 
1896, the months of April to July inclusive, are poor- 
est in icebergs. In August their numbers begin to 
increase, considerably so in September and October, till 
the maximum is reached in November and December. 
In January the numbers diminish, still more in February, 


and in March the state of the ice does not greatly differ 
from that of April As has already been observed, these 
rough statistics apply only to the regions visited by com- 
merce ; whilst very little, indeed hardly anything, is known 
about the state of the ice in higher latitudes — especially 
in winter. 

The gradual drift northwards leads pretty rapidly to 
considerable changes in the shape of the bergs. Rains 
and the increased temperature of the air melt portions of 
the ice towering above the surface of the sea, and as 
the water that penetrates the rifts in the ice freezes 
again, it expands and breaks off fragments near the 
edge with loud reports ; along the water-line the 
breakers hollow out cavities, growing larger and deeper 
till at last the overhanging roof falls in, and finally the 
sea water forms cavities all round the berg. The 
material of the iceberg being ice formed from snow, it 
follows that the surface water of the sea cannot melt 
this substance unless its temperature is 3 2° F. or more ; 
whilst in the water with a temperature lower than the 
freezing-point, melting cannot take place in the higher 
latitudes. The breakers, combined with the melting 
process, form submarine ice terraces, proceeding from 
and surrounding the berg, which, being hidden, may 
easily become dangerous to navigation. If the destruc- 
tive forces have removed a large portion of one side 
of the berg, then the centre of gravity of the whole 
mass is changed, and the berg assumes a different 
position. Thus arise those boldly jagged pinnacles 
observed in the lower latitudes, whose lofty summits 
are balanced by a much larger, but far less deep 
reaching mass beneath the surface of the water. It is 
seen, then, how unsafe it is to assume, as Dr. Croll 
for example has done, that the submarine depth of the 
ice is nine times as great as is the height above the 
surface of the water. 


26 1 

The numerous illustrations of this work, derived 
from the Challenger, are admirable representations of 
these wonderful floating masses of ice in the Antarctic 
regions, whilst those illustrations which are taken from 
Dumont d'Urville's work exhibit the jagged forms of 
icebergs that have undergone considerable destruction. 

The extreme northern limits reached by the Ant- 
arctic icebergs are indicated in the annexed map ; they 
lie about latitudes 40° to 50° S. We possess, however, 
reliable information only about the regions which are 
regularly visited. In the Atlantic these limits penetrate 
farthest north ; occasionally the last fragments of icebergs 
have been met near the Cape of Good Hope. 1 On the 

If ^^f|^. ..; 

Iceberg seen on 21st February, 1874 (after the Challenger Reports). 

other hand, this limit is subject to a noticeable inter- 
ruption near Kerguelen and Heard Islands. It seems 
that the west wind drift current, being turned aside by 
the bank connecting the two islands, travels to the 
south-east over a wide expanse ot surface and presses 
the icebergs backwards. It thus counteracts the cur- 
rent presumably parallel to or setting out from Wilkes 
Land, and thus brings about the colossal accumulation 

1 Whilst these pages were going through the press I have received 
the new and surprising intelligence (G. Schott, D. Ozeanographie i. d. 
Jahren 1895-96 ; Hettner's Geogr. Zeitschr., iv., p. 46) that a piece of 
ice was seen on the 30th of April, 1894, in lat. 26°3o' S. and long. 
25°4o' W. — The Translator. 


of icebergs frequently observed in the neighbourhood 
of Wilkes' problematical termination land. Between 
June, 1896, and the commencement of 1898, masses of 
icebergs appeared even north of Kerguelen Land. A 
similar but less important deviation in the middle 
portion of the ice limit is observed south of New 
Zealand, and finally also in Drake Strait, which latter 
is easily accounted for by the collection of masses of 
warm water, which are piled up along the Western 
Coast of Patagonia, and partly encircle Cape Horn. 

The sea ice of the Antarctic regions is of small 
importance in comparison with the icebergs ; this is 
probably due to the action of the high waves of the 
broad, storm-lashed southern ocean, to which the south 
polar waters are accessible and exposed. The low 
temperature of the winter in high southern latitudes must 
of course tend to form extensive fields of ice ; but, on 
the other hand, they are continually broken up by the 
restlessness of the sea. In the higher latitudes of Ross 
Sea, fresh ice begins to form very rapidly — as early as the 
end of February — whilst Weddell saw not the least trace 
of fresh ice at the same time of year in Weddell Sea, in 
latitude 74 15' S. In the region west of Peter I. Island, 
Hudson and Walker found that in latitude 69 to yo° S. 
fresh ice began to form at the end of March ; along the 
coast of Wilkes Land no observations have as yet been 
made on the formation of new ice ; presumably it will not 
take place before the end of February, unless we suppose 
that this month was in 1840 unusually mild. On the 
other hand, Biscoe noticed that in the first days of March 
the sea near Enderby Land was in a short time covered 
with ice an inch thick, when the water was calm. 

No direct observations have as yet been made on 
the thickness which Antarctic sea ice attains in the course 
of the winter. It has been asserted that clumps of ice 
a year old were some three feet thick, but this is an 

THE ICE. 268 

isolated observation. On the other hand, all Antarctic 
travellers have been struck by the fact that the indi- 
vidual fields were of less expanse than they are in the 
Arctic Seas. Wilkes, for example, never saw one that 
was more than one and a half miles across ; in Ross 
Sea they are larger, but the largest were observed by 
Ross to the south-east of Mount Haddington, where 
they were sometimes five miles in diameter. It seems 
that the protecting influence of the land makes itself felt 
here, as the ice finds abundant support and shelter from 
the waves. In the deep inlets strong coast ice was seen 
that had lasted all through the summer, by Ross south- 
west of Mount Haddington, by Larsen between Mount 
Haddington and King Oscar Land, and again by Ross 
west of Cape North in Victoria Land, and also west of 
Mount Erebus. 

The surface on which sea ice is formed may probably 
comprise all the coasts together with the adjacent arms 
and inlets of the sea that penetrate some way into the 
land ; this can be inferred from the breadth of the zone 
of pack-ice through which Ross sailed in his second 
voyage, and the extent of which is nearly equal to that 
of Ross Sea. It is, however, for reasons previously 
discussed, highly improbable that this ice covering forms 
one unbroken mass ; on the contrary the ice is first broken 
up, then crowded together, and the separate blocks piled 
on the top of each other, till pack-ice is formed. But 
even this will not bear comparison with the pack-ice of 
the Arctic regions, as is expressly stated by Ross, 
notwithstanding that he had met on his second voyage 
ice masses that had undergone such very heavy pressure, 
that not a single really level field was to be seen, every- 
thing being confusedly piled up, and yet not towering 
more than ten to fifteen feet above water. A peculiarity 
very inconvenient to navigation is the circumstance that 
large hard fragments of icebergs are imbedded in the 


Antarctic pack-ice ; in some places, indeed, especially near 
the land, these constitute a very considerable fraction of 
it. It is equally characteristic of the Antarctic ice-blocks 
that they are crowned with a thick coat of snow, which 
not infrequently exceeds three feet in thickness. 

Nothing definite can be stated with respect to the 
time when the ice thaws and begins to drift north ; this 
evidently varies very considerably just as in the north ; 
and even in the most northerly advanced post in the 
region of the South Orkneys, and especially the South 
Shetland Isles, it was found that some years they were 
accessible very early, viz., in October, and at other years 
not till December. Unlike the icebergs the sea ice 
depends for its motion mainly on the winds and on surface 
currents. Travellers have observed that a single storm 
may completely change the aspect of the sea, or rather of 
its ice covering. The general tendency of the drift of 
the pack-ice is towards the north, like that of the icebergs, 
but it is much less regular, being frequently driven back 
by northerly winds. In consequence of the circumstance 
that land lies to the south, which excludes the possibility 
of more sea ice following in support, an open sea com- 
paratively free from ice is met with in the Antarctic 
regions almost regularly when the principal zone of pack- 
ice has been pierced ; this is specially the case in the 
neighbourhood of Ross Sea and Weddell Sea, but it also 
holds for the coasts of Wilkes Land and Graham's Land. 
Had the Challenger pushed forward farther south, she 
also would probably have found a more extensive, sea 
surface, or at least an open coast-land. 

The lower latitudes reached by the pack-ice naturally 
fall far short of the extreme, and to some extent even of 
the mean, limit of the icebergs ; nevertheless the sea ice 
reaches fairly low latitudes, and, like the icebergs, mostly 
so in the Atlantic, where it has been known to arrive at 
and beyond 48° S. According to some statements it 

THE ICE. 265 

would even appear that in 1892 the drift of the gigantic 
iceberg brought in its train sea ice as far north as 41 ° or 
42 S. ; however, this may have been mere fragments of 
icebergs, since it can hardly be supposed that in the sea 
surface, greatly chilled though it was by the melting 
glacier ice, the salt-water ice could have drifted so far 
north, seeing that it thaws so much more readily. 

Both kinds of ice, icebergs, and sea ice bring to the 
temperate latitudes of the southern ocean large quantities 
of cold water ; nevertheless these do not suffice to replace 
the water withdrawn from the tropics by evaporation. The 
necessary compensation is effected by the exceedingly slow 
movement of the icy cold waters at the bottom of the 
sea coming from the south polar regions. This forward 
movement extends to the Equator and far to the north 
of it. On the other hand, the melting Antarctic ice causes 
a great reduction of the surface temperature of the sea 
in higher latitudes, and also of the lower strata of water 
in the middle latitudes, in fact, over the whole extent 
of the drift of the icebergs. The investigations of the 
Challenger have shown that in the neighbourhood of the 
real pack-ice the surface temperature is uniformly below 
3 2 F., but above 28° F., the freezing-point of sea water. 
Farther north the temperatures gradually increase, but 
between the higher temperatures on the surface, and a 
stratum of equal temperature at a depth of from 500 to 
600 feet a body of colder water is wedged in, extending 
to about 53° S. This is due to the fact that the glacier 
ice melting in salt water forms with the later a sort of 
freezing mixture, which reduces the temperature of these 
mixed waters from 32 F. to 28*9° F. But this mixture 
cannot sink to the bottom, being partly fresh water, and 
therefore specifically lighter than the lower stratum which 
though warmer is more saline. For organic life in the sea 
this fact is of great importance, as the richest animal life 
is most abundantly developed in this cold and cool water. 


The distribution of land and water in the Antarctic re- 
gions, and the complete glaciation of the former, at least 
in the high latitudes, brings it about that in the south 
polar regions organic life is all but restricted to the sea, 
and comprises forms which are partly peculiar to those 
districts, and partly are to be found also more widely 
distributed in other bio-geographical regions. Both king- 
doms of organic life, plants and animals, possess a specially 
characteristic feature in the Arctic as well as in the 
Antarctic region, viz., poverty in species, but wealth, 
sometimes exuberant wealth, in individuals, so long as 
man, as a destructive agent, does not appear on the 

The vegetable world of the Antarctic regions, in our 
definition of this latter term, is most abundantly represented 
in the island of South Georgia, which is its most advanced 
northerly position. Dr. Will, the botanist of the German 
station in Royal Bay, found that arboreous ligneous plants 
did not exist, but there were thirteen species of phanero- 
gamous, besides numerous cryptogamous plants, which in 
summer clothe every spot free from snow with their not 
over-luxuriant verdure. The only plant with a vivid blos- 
som is a yellow flowering, small ranunculus, ranunculus 
biternatus, which grows in moist localities hidden in the 
moss. The characteristic plants of the South Georgian 
landscape are the tussock grass, poa Jiabellata (dactylis 
caespitosa), which is peculiar to the Antarctic flora, a grami- 
neous plant growing on small hillocks raised by the plant 




itself ; its stiff, bristly blades attain a height of 4I to 5 feet. 
Next comes a rosaceous plant, acaena ascendens, which, 
rising to a height of one foot, forms bushes that cover 
extensive tracts of ground. There is also another but 
rarer grass, aira antarctica, which is of some importance, 
and in the swamps a rush, rostkovin magellanica, grows 
in considerable abundance. As for the rest, large-leaved 
mosses are predominant ; they cover broad plains with a 
mat-like coating a foot thick ; and on the steep, rocky 
slopes lichens grow, and most prominently the so-called 

Tussock Grass (after Hooker). 

reindeer moss (cladonia rangiferind) and a genus of lichen 
(neuropogon nielaxanthus, usnea tnelaxanthd), whose sul- 
phur-coloured leaflets are seen to gleam on high elevations. 
In the shallows along the coast grow numerous species of 
algae, and most commonly the familiar sea-tang (macro- 
cystis pyriferd) as well as another species of a gigantic 
Antarctic sea-weed, the durvillcea. 

South of Drake Strait the flora is much scantier. 
Nothing is as yet known with any precision of the 
vegetation on the South Shetland Isles ; we only know 
from the reports of seal-hunters that a kind of grass is* 


growing there, possibly the poa flabellata, and that the 
ground, where free from snow, is partly covered with 
moss. The flora on the landing place of Cockburn 
Island, latitude 64 12' S., in Admiralty Sound, has been 
minutely described by Hooker, the eminent botanist, at 
that time assistant surgeon on board the Erebus. All in 
all he found nineteen species, four of which were marine 
algae, growing on the beach. The rest consist of three 
fresh-water plants and twelve land plants. Among the 
latter those of highest organisation are the mosses, 
represented by five species ; next come six species of 
lichens, among which the lecanora miniata is specially 
noticeable in consequence of its yellow colour, seen from 
a great distance, and the rest are algae. Compared with 
this relatively great wealth of species, Cape Adare and 
Possession Islands appear to great disadvantage, seeing 
that only one species of lichen has as yet been noticed in 
those localities. The appalling poverty of the Antarctic 
regions stands out in glaring light when compared with 
the plant-life of the Arctic regions, where, as has already 
been stated above, nine species of flowering plants are 
found in much higher latitudes, e.g., in Grinnell Land, 
at 82° 30' N., in the midst of a luxuriant vegetation of 
mosses, supplying rich pasture for terrestrial mammals. 

Of pre-eminent importance is a certain microscopic 
plant which occurs in all the high southern latitudes, and 
fills the sea with individuals absolutely innumerable, 
closely following the floating ice masses, being probably 
attracted by the low temperatures there prevailing. They 
are diatomaceae, siliceous algae, which sometimes fill the 
sea with a thick rusty-brown pulp of repulsive smell, 
whose flinty shell, sinking to the bottom, largely con- 
tributes to the formation of the deep-sea mud in high 

On the presence of this minute form of vegetable 
life is based the existence of the abundant animal life in 


Antarctic waters ; animals exclusively adapted to life on 
land do not, and cannot, exist in the Antarctic regions, 
owing to the absence of all the conditions necessary to 
their existence. Though Borchgrevingk lately noticed 
scars of wounds upon some seals, which led him to believe 
in the existence of some mysterious, powerful beast of 
prey, it has been most conclusively proved that these 
wounds were inflicted by the teeth of a ferocious 
cetacean — the orca gladiator. 

The mammals of the south polar regions are repre- 
sented by whales and seals, that is, by animals that are 
either entirely or principally adapted to life in the water. 
A systematic classification of the whales of the Antarctic 
waters does not yet exist ; nor is it known to what extent 
they resemble their northern congeners. Ross's assertion 
that the Greenland whale (balcena mysticetus), the whale 
of highest commercial importance, occurs in great 
numbers in the regions of Ross Sea and of the Dirk 
Gerritz Archipelago has been confirmed neither by the 
voyage of the Antarctic to Victoria Land, nor by the 
voyages of Larsen or the Dundee whalers. All the 
whales so far seen were Rorquals (finners), which do not 
repay the trouble of catching. In addition to these 
mention is made of the bottle-nose whale (hyperoodon 
bidens) and the orca gladiator, which are seen in large 
numbers ; but the identity of these animals with northern 
forms is not satisfactorily established. 

This is true in a still higher degree of the seals, which 
originally existed in few species but in huge multitudes 
of individuals — they are in fact the only Antarctic 
mammals that partially visit the land. The sea-elephant 
(cystophora proboscidea) is the largest living representa- 
tive of the true seals ; there are also met with in the 
Dirk Gerritz Archipelago four species (stenorhynchus 
leptonyx), Weddell's seal (stenorhynckus Weddelii), the 
sea-leopard (stenorhyncus carcinophaga), and Ross's seal 


(omatophoca Rossii). On the other hand, the exceedingly 
important fur-seal, belonging to the Eared Seals, the sea- 
bear (ptaria jubata), has of late ceased to be seen. 

The sea-elephant is still found in South Georgia, 
but no longer in such huge shoals as were wont at the 
beginning of the century to attract seal-hunters. Accord- 
ing to Weddell's statistics more than 20,000 tons of 
sea-elephant oil had been gained at that island from the 
day of its discovery by Cook up to the twenties of this 
century, by which time these animals had been well nigh 
extirpated. The fate that they suffered in South Georgia 
also overtook them in the South Shetlands, where 
Weddell reports that he had had 2,000 of them killed 
in a single visit. In the higher latitudes, on the other 
hand, in the districts of Wilkes' Land and Victoria Land, 
the sea-elephant seems to be absent altogether ; at least 
none of the discoverers make mention of it. 

Of the other true seals, four in number, v. d. Steinen, a 
member of the German expedition, proved the existence 
also of the sea-leopard in South Georgia, but in small 
numbers only. Larsen and the Dundee whalers have 
seen it in greater numbers near Louis-Philippe Land and 
King Oscar Land. In the same district Larsen met a 
very large school of what appeared to be the sea-leopard 
or crab-eater, but his accounts are so vague that it is hard 
to determine what species he refers to. At any rate the 
four species of seals here named seem to have a circum- 
polar distribution. 

Next to the mammals, the Birds of the Antarctic 
regions are best known. The true water birds, adapted 
by their webbed feet to live on both land and water, 
are most largely represented ; and there are, besides, 
two waders (c/iionis), which belong exclusively to the 
Antarctic regions. The next species with the largest 
number of representatives are the stormy petrels (pro- 
.cellariidce) and the penguins {impennes or aptenody- 


tiornithes), of all birds the most peculiar, and most 
characteristic of the south polar regions. Their an- 
terior extremities have assumed the shape of paddles, 
fitting them admirably for swimming and diving. 
Although several varieties of them have spread as far 
as the coasts of Chili and of South Africa, as well as 
Australia and New Zealand, yet it is in the Antarctic 
regions where the greatest number and most important 
varieties occur. Always sitting, standing, or walking in 
upright posture, as is shown on a reduced scale in many 
of our illustrations, they give animation to the ice and 
more or less accessible rocks, where they form large 
colonies of breeding places. On rocky ground they 
waddle awkwardly along, but on the ice and on the 
snow they lie down flat on their belly, and using their 
paddles as supports they slide forward with such speed 
that a man running can hardly keep up with them. In 
swimming they show greater skill than any other bird, 
and inexperienced mariners have often mistaken them 
for small dolphins. 

The largest species is the king penguin {aptenodytes 
Iongirostris\ an imposing bird with magnificent plumage. 
Bruce measured specimens of this species, and found 
them to be when standing 4 ft. 6 in. high, and up- 
wards of 4 ft. in circumference ; they weighed from 55 
lb. to 66 lb. or more. The creature possesses great 
tenacity, and exhibits an unsuspected physical strength. 
Five men were scarcely able to hold down a king pen- 
guin chased by Bruce. The king penguin is, however, 
not very common, being in this respect far surpassed 
by the Gentoo penguin {pygoscelis papua), the bridled 
penguin {pygoscelis ant arc tic a), and the macaroni {endyptes 
chrysolophus), which are very numerous in South Georgia, 
and in still higher latitudes. 

Farther north the chionis, stormy petrels and penguins 
are joined by cormorants, and in South Georgia by a 


species of ducks, Eaton's duck {querquedula Eatont), and 
a sea-gull identical with, or nearly related to the northern 
Great Skua (stercorarius cat arr hades) is met with in 
still higher latitudes. 

Reptiles and amphibious animals have not been seen 
in the Antarctic regions, and considering the conditions 
of life needful for their existence they may safely be 
regarded as excluded from them. Fishes, however, on 
which mammals and birds feed, exist in rich abundance, 
but little progress has as yet been made in their identifica- 
tion and classification ; the only zoological observations, 
of any extent, that have been recorded are those of the 
short trip far to the south made by the Challenger, and 
even there attention was mainly directed to the deep- 
sea fauna. In general it may be observed that the 
animal life in the true Antarctic waters shows near 
kinship to, if not identity with, that of the Arctic regions. 

Of invertebrate animals the information supplied us, 
especially by the investigations of the Challenger, shows 
the existence of a great number of species and individuals. 
It would lead us too far to enter into details, but a few 
facts may be enumerated. Of the species of tunicata 
large pyrosomidae, and ascidise a foot long have not un- 
frequently been seen floating on the surface of the sea. 
Of molluscs we must especially mention those found by 
Ross called paddling snails, of the species limacino 
and clio, which form a chief article of food for the 
whales, exactly as in the Arctic regions ; also a small 
pretty cephalopod, the argonauta antarctica, which fre- 
quents the neighbourhood of icebergs, besides great 
numbers of shells and snails. Brachiopods and worms, 
and especially crab-like animals, serve as articles of food 
for higher organisations, showing the high importance 
to be attached to the crabs of low organisation which 
often appear in huge multitudes. Among the Ccelenterata 
large jelly-fish are seen on the surface, and the discovery 


of live coral at the bottom of Ross Sea excited no small 
surprise at the time. These southern regions possess 
also a rich abundance of protozoa, which are present in 
every quarter, but the forms that have a most important 
bearing- on the general biology and on the sedimentary 
formations, viz., the globigernia and the radiolaria are 
more commonly superseded by the above-mentioned 
vegetable diatomaceae. 

It is obvious now, that whatever products the Ant- 
arctic regions yield belong exclusively to the animal 
kingdom, the existence of useful coal beds in the South 
Shetland Isles being as yet very problematical. For the 
economic uses of man only seals and whales seem of 
importance, and even these do not seem to be offering 
a promising prospect, seeing that so far the only voyage 
to Victoria Land to be repeated is that of the Antarctic. 
The main cause of this state of things is the absence of 
a valuable species of whales and of the fur-bearing seal, 
which, once abundant enough, have been exterminated. It 
is said that in the early twenties of the nineteenth century 
over 300,000 individuals were killed, in addition to about 
1,200,000 destroyed between the re-discovery of South 
Georgia by Cook and the year 18 10, i.e., in barely forty- 
five years. Weddell says that the seal skins of American 
hunters mostly exported to China fetched $5 a piece ; 
calculated on this basis the above numbers would re- 
present a sum of ;£ 1, 500,000. At the present time these 
exceedingly costly skins would naturally fetch much 
higher prices. As seal-hunters carried on their hideous 
butcheries without any discrimination and barely left even 
sucklings unmolested, and these, then, perished from want 
of care and nurture, -it is not surprising that this exceed- 
ingly valuable breed of seals should have been all but 
extirpated within a few years, to the great loss of the 
shortsighted seal-hunters themselves. 



The object of the preceding chapters has been to present 
to the reader a general view of the whole of our present 
knowledge of the Antarctic regions. We have exhibited 
the history of the gradual expansion of this knowledge, 
the distribution of land and of water as far as it is known. 
We have discussed the results of the scanty observations 
made on the climatic elements, and on the sequence of 
phenomena due to them, as well as the predominance of 
the ice, and in short outlines the most important forms 
of organic life, both animals and plants, and yet all this 
merely shows that for the geographer the south polar 
regions are little more than an emphatic point of in- 
terrogation, a frank confession that on every branch of 
geographical knowledge we stand before a riddle, the 
solution of which belongs to the future. It is not 
merely because the number of unknown regions on our 
earth has been largely reduced, but mainly because all 
branches of geography have gained in depth, that the 
necessity is more and more forced upon science of 
energetically attacking the long-neglected study of the 
south polar regions, since it is impossible to conceive 
a complete system of geographical theories so long as 
such knowledge is wanting. 

In the last sections of the "History of Discovery" 
men lion has been made of the stimulus given and the 
efforts made to reanimate Antarctic research by its most 

eminent living advocate and representative. Georg 



Neumayer, the present director of the famous German 
Observatory in Hamburg, the most eminent institution 
for hydrography and maritime meteorology, has not 
ceased in his efforts to promote an expedition to the 
south polar regions for purely scientific purposes ever 
since 1856, when he went to Australia for the second 
time to fit up and direct the Flagstaff Observatory at 

Georg Neumayer. 

Melbourne, which was erected for the study of terrestrial 
magnetism, hydrography and meteorology. He had early 
become aware of the fact that it was practically impossible 
to prosecute the study of terrestrial magnetism and of 
atmospheric phenomena so long as the Antarctic regions 
remained a terra incognita, principally because the obser- 
vations made by Ross had become too antiquated to be 
useful to the first named of these two sciences. But 


Neumayer's endeavours to promote such an expedition 
proved unavailing, and he had to rest content with 
pressing home the. necessity of south polar investiga- 
tions in lectures, delivered first at Melbourne, and then 
after his return home, in Germany ; unfortunately to no 
purpose, owing to a want of intelligent interest in these 
problems, even amongst the educated classes ; unless, 
indeed, the fact that the southward advance of the 
Challenger followed the lines laid down by him be 
regarded as a result of his labours. At last, in 1882 
and 1883, a considerable step forward was made in 
polar studies both North and South, when, thanks to 
Neumayer's unwearied efforts, Weyprecht's proposal 
was adopted, viz., to encircle both the Poles with a 
system of permanent stations, at which, during at least 
a year, the elements of terrestrial magnetism and of 
meteorology should be synoptically and thoroughly inves- 
tigated. It is true that, as has already been mentioned 
before, the South Pole, in which Neumayer was specially 
interested, had been treated very step-motherly. The 
North Pole was surrounded by ten stations, all within 
the Arctic circle, in addition to two stations north of 
the sixtieth parallel, and six meteorological stations of 
the second rank placed by Germany in Labrador. On 
the other hand, in the Antarctic regions there were but 
two stations erected, viz., the German in South Georgia 
and the French in Tierra del Fuego, and even these 
were the one io° and the other 12 north of the 
Antarctic circle ; and, moreover, the utility of these 
two stations was diminished by their being but 36° of 
longitude asunder, when it would naturally have been 
desirable that 180° should have intervened between 
them. Nevertheless the station in South Georgia has 
become specially important in geographical science, in- 
dependent of the results in the domains of meteorology 
and terrestrial magnetism ; so important, that Royal 


Bay on that island, and the surrounding district may 
be regarded as that spot in the Antarctic regions which 
is best known in every respect. 

The meteorological results secured in the south 
polar stations were so interesting and startling, that 
they once more emphasised the supreme importance of 
Antarctic investigations, not only for the science of 
meteorology, but also for the theory of the structure of 
the surface of the whole globe and its organic life, as is 
made evident by what has been said about the structure 
of the surface of the island. This matter was discussed 
at three meetings of the German Geographical Congress, 
and this assembly of eminent savants publicly and em- 
phatically declared Antarctic investigations to be both 
necessary and feasible ; however, this resolution led to 
no practical effect, the needful means not being forth- 
coming from either public or private sources. 

The urgent appeal of German geographers found 
an echo on the other side of the German Ocean. John 
Murray, the distinguished member of the Challenger 
expedition, who after the decease of its scientific head 
was charged with the publication of its results, published 
in 1886 a detailed and very weighty treatise on the 
exploration of the south polar regions. Now at last 
it seemed that the persistent endeavours were to be 
crowned with a successful result ; Nordenskiold, the 
famous circumnavigator of Asia, expressed his intention 
of adding to his northern voyage a voyage to the south 
polar regions ; governments and private supporters in 
Australia were reported to be willing to find the needful 
means, but all these hopeful prospects were once more 
doomed to disappointment and came to nothing. 

Nevertheless, Murray's work had the small practical 
result that seal catching and whale fishery in the An- 
tarctic regions was resumed by the Dundee whalers 
and by the Hamburg Society Oceana. Although the 


enterprise did not prove a commercial success, yet it not 
only added somewhat to our geographical knowledge, 
but it once more demonstrated that the ice of the south 
polar waters opposed no insurmountable obstacle to 
scientific exploration. At the same time these voyages 
had to some extent roused a widespread interest in 

John Murray. 

Antarctic discovery. Relying on this, the indefatigable 
advocate of Antarctic exploration in Germany once more 
brought the subject forward at the Geographical Congress 
of Bremen, and demonstrated its necessity for the domains 
of meteorology and terrestrial magnetism. He was sup- 
ported by E. von Drygalski and E. Vanhoffen, the excel- 
lent investigators into the nature of the inland ice of 


Greenland ; the former pointed out the necessity of 
studying the nature of Antarctic ice, and the latter the 
problem of the origin of organic life in those regions. 
These appeals proved highly successful; the Geographical 
Congress appointed a committee under the chairmanship 
of G. Neumayer, instructing them " to consult on the 
possibility of speedily despatching to the Antarctic 
regions a German scientific expedition, and if the report 
should be favourable to initiate the first steps for its 
execution ". This committee in its turn elected a Board 
consisting of a great number of eminent scientists and 
students of geography, and presided over by Neumayer. 
They elaborated a plan, determining the scientific and 
practical direction of the enterprise. They pointed out 
that its range should not be restricted to a mere ex- 
tension of Antarctic topography, but that the study of 
meteorology, of terrestrial magnetism, of the shape of 
the globe, of zoology, botany and geology, and finally 
of the investigation of Antarctic ice, urgently required 
a winter sojourn in the Antarctic zone. This entailed 
the necessity of settling on a suitable place for winter 
quarters on land, and in order to keep up communication 
with the rest of the world the expedition must have a 
special ship at its disposal, in addition to another vessel 
engaged in studying the local geography, the distribution 
of land and water, and hydrography. If the operations 
are to have a permanent scientific value, they must ex- 
tend over a period of not less than three years, which 
means a sojourn of two winters in those regions. 

With respect to the quarter whence the expedition is 
to penetrate into the south polar regions, the Commission 
selected the route advocated by G. Neumayer for nearly 
fifty years, viz., the meridian of Kerguelen, or there- 
abouts (70° to 85° E.), as, with the exception of the flying 
visit paid by the Challenger, this region has not yet been 
searchingly examined, and new results cannot fail to 


be secured — no matter whether land is met with or not. 
Moreover, this region is excellently fitted for the establish- 
ment of a station, because being nearly equidistant from 
the observatories of the Cape and of the south point of 
Australia, combined work could be undertaken. The 
district of Ross Sea and the neighbourhood of Graham's 
Land are disregarded, as they receive sufficient attention 
from English and Belgian explorers. 

As for the practical arrangements : both the vessels 
of the expedition are to be steamers, of about 400 tons 
measurement, strengthened for ice navigation ; each is 
to be manned by a crew of thirty men, inclusive of four 
officers and four men of science. The cost of the whole 
undertaking would in round numbers be about ,£47,500 
(950,000 Marks), which is to be raised by private sub- 
scriptions, and if possible by government subsidy. 

All this was agreed upon more than two years ago, 
and meanwhile the elaboration of the scheme has been 
vigorously pushed forward. Will it ever be carried 
out ? Will the German nation be mindful of what it 
still owes to science if it would retain its designation 
of the "Nation of Thinkers and Investigators?" Or 
will it once more allow itself to be outstripped even 
by smaller European nations ? In this very southern 
summer a Belgian expedition, under De Gerlache has 
gone in search of the waters east of Graham's Land ; a 
new whaling expedition, having E. Borchgrevingk on 
board, is reported to have started from Australia ; it is 
intended that they should pass the winter at Cape Adare, 
and thence advance polewards on snow-shoes ; in England 
also and in the United States South Polar Expeditions, 
planned by Fridtjof Nansen, the greatest polar traveller 
of our day, are being taken in hand. Will Germany and 
( rerman science again commit the oft-repeated mistake 
of being too late, and be content to accept the leavings 
of others? The prize is great, and independent of the 


inestimable results for geophysical science, the German 
scheme can contribute to prove the existence or non- 
existence of an Antarctic continent, as well as the 
connection of Wilkes Land and Enderby Land. We 
Germans should never forget what has been done for 
the advancement of science by the governments and 
private individuals of small and mostly poor nations, such 
as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium. 
German prosperity is advancing on all sides ; it is 
assuredly much greater than it was when the Germania 
and the Hansa set out for East Greenland, not at the 
charge of any government, but supported by the contribu- 
tions of private individuals of all classes, who were 
enthusiastic in the cause of science. Oh that Germany 
would find a Dickson and a Gamel, a Wilezek and a 
Sibirjakoff, not to mention hosts of others, so that German 
science may also have her share in the solution of this 
last and greatest problem of geography ! Not merely 
the rich, but everybody who possesses knowledge of, 
and interest in, this undertaking can contribute his mite 
and aid in the realisation of this aspiration. The author 
of this present work will consider himself abundantly 
rewarded if he has been able by his labour to awaken a 
lively interest in German South Polar Exploration. 



&. SMcfet, SWagatyaeSftrajjc unb Qluftratf'onttnent a. b. @(o6en beg 3ot^ 

(gclioncr. (On Amerigo 93e^ucci.) 1881. 
@. #tuge, 3)a3 unbefanntc 6ub(anb. £>eutfd)e ©cogv. ©latter. 1895. 3- 

P. 147. (Earliest conjectures down to £e SWaite.) 
De Brosses, Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes. 1756. 

(Specially important for Bouvet.) 
Capt. Jas. Cook, Voyage towards the South Pole and round the World. 

1777. 2 vols. 
Burney, A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or 

Pacific Ocean. 5 vols. 1803 sqq. 


Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, iii., iv., v. 1820-22. ("Discovery 

and Exploration of the South Shetland Islands.") 
Sfteue allgcmcinc geogra^tfcfyc @£l)emertben ; 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 

16. 1820-22, 24-25. (The same.) 
0. SBcltinggfyaufen, 3 we » na ^9 c Unterfudntngen im (ubltcr/en (Sigmccr unb 

Oteife urn bic $8clt in Den Safyrcn 1819-21. 1 831 (in Russian). Short 

abstract : — 
ft. Soroe, 9Bctting3fyaufen8 Otcife nacfy ber (Sitbfee u. (Sntbecfungen im fiibl. 

©Smeer. (£rman8 9lrd)to fur roiffenfdjajH. Jibe. &. Otuflanb. II., 

J. Weddell, A Voyage towards the South Pole, 1822-24. 1825. 
Webster, Narrative of a Voyage to the Southern Atlantic. 2 vols. 1834. 

(Voyage of the Chanticleer under Captain Foster.) 



Kendall, " An Account of the Island of Deception". Journ. of the 

Roy. Geogr. Soc. 1833. Pp. 62-66. (Foster's voyage.) 
J. Biscoe, " Recent Discoveries in the Antarctic Ocean ". Journ. of the 

Roy. Geogr. Soc. 1833. Pp. 105-12. 
Nautical Magazine. 1835. Pp. 265-75. (Foster's voyage.) 
J. Balleny, " Discoveries in the Antarctic Ocean, 1839 ". Journ. of the 

Roy. Geogr. Soc. 1839. (Notices of the same also in Ross, inf.) 
J. S. C. Dumont d'Urville, Voyage au Pole Sud et dans VOceanie, 

1841-54. (Vols. ii. and viii. ; also Atlas Pittoresque.) 
Chas. Wilkes, United States Exploring Expedition. 5 vols., and Atlas. 

1845 saa - (Vols. i. and ii.) 
J. C. Ross, Voyage of Discovery and Research to the Southern and Ant- 
arctic Regions. 2 vols. 1846. 
R. McCormick, Voyages of Discovery in the Antarctic and the Arctic 

Seas. 2 vols. 1884. (Vol. i. treats of the voyage of 3. (£. 3h>§.) 
Moore, " Magnetic Voyage of the Pagoda ". Nautical Magazine. 1846. 
On Kallmann 3 Discoveries: essays by 91. (sct/i'icf in the 93erl)anb(ungen 

b. 93erein3 fur nattttre. Unterfyaltung, V., Ǥam6urg 1882, and %tiu 

fdjrifl fur rctffcnfcr/. ©eogr., VI., SOBcimar 1888. 
93). JUutfcfyaf, (gin SBefud) auf @itb=©corgtcn. £)eutfc$e Olunbfdjau fiir 

©eogr. u. ©tatiftif. 1881. 
H.M.S. Challenger : Report on the Scientific Results, etc. Narrative. 

Vol. i. London, 1885. 
S)ie Internationale $olarforfcr)ung. S)ie beutfdjen (Frpcbttiomn unb 

ir)rc (Srgcontffe. v£erau3gcgc6en 0. ®. Sfccnntatycr. 2 vols. ^Berlin 1891. 
(S. 2Roji$aff and £. ©ill, £>te Snfel <Sub=@eorgtcn. £eutfd)c ©eogr. 

flatter. 1884. VII., pt. 2. 
23 gel, liber btc (Sdutcc* unb ©letftfjeroerfydltniffc auf 6itb= ©eorgtcn. 

3at)reg6ertci;t b. ©eogr. ©efcttfer/. in SWun^en fur 1885. Pt. 10. 
Burn-Murdoch, From Edinburgh to the Antarctic. London, 1894. 
(garfen), Dr. 3. $cterfen, £>te SRcifen beg „3afon" unb bcr „<§ert$a" in 

bag 5lntarftifcfte 2)iecr 1893/94. Reprint from the 3Mittciluna,en 

b. ©eogr. ©efeHfc^. in Hamburg 1895. 
C. E. Borchgrevingk, "The Antarctic's Voyage to the Antarctic". 

Geogr. Journ. 1895. Vol. v. No. 6. 
liber btc Olcife beg Antarctic nad) Q3ir"toria*£anb. aSertyanblungen 

t>cr ©efcttfd). f. (Srbfitnbe $u Berlin. 1895. Nos. 8 and 9. 
11. J. Bull, The Cruise of the "Antarctic" to the South Polar Regions. 

London, 1896. 
" Cruise of the Balcena and the Active in the Antarctic Seas, 1892-93." 

I. The Balcena, by W. S. Bruce. Geogr. Journ. 1896. Vol. 

vii. No. 5— II. The Active, by Charles W. Donald. Geogr. 

Journ. 1896. Vol. vii. No. 6. 



'}{. ^etermann, ^ctermanng ttcue Staxtc bcr (&uty)olar*9flegio'nen. $ctcr* 

manng ©eogr. SJfttteiltmgcn. 1863. 
©. 9Uumai)cr: A selection of the most important of his numerous 

works : — 

(a) Die (Srfoifcf/ung beg (sub*$ofar*®et>ietc3. 3Scrfin 1872. 3eitfc^r. 

ber ©cfcttfd). f. (grbftmbe (also as a „ @onbcra6brucf "). 

(b) ^otroenbigfeit unb Durctyfitfyrtnufrit b. antart't. ^ovjet/ung. SSetfjanb* 

(ungen b. V. beutfefyen ©eograpfyentageg 511 «§am6urg. SBcrlin 1885. 

(c) "Script iifcer ben ^ortgang bcr 93eftre6ungcn 511 ©unften ber antaxU 

tifefyen ftorfdjung. 93er(;anbiungen b. VII. beutfefyen ©cogta^entagcS 
ju Jlarigrufyc. Berlin 1887. 

(d) Die neueftcn grortfdjritre §u ©unjten ciner rotffenfdjaftftd)en (£tfor* 

fcfyung bev antart"ti(cl)en Region. Qlnnateit bcr ^fybrogra^ic u. mavit. 
3ftcteorologte. 21. Sa^rg. 1893. XII. 

(e) Itfccr @ubpo(arforfct)ung. 9Bmd)t beg VI. 3ntcrnationa(cn @ec= 

grafcfyenfongreffeg. bonbon 1895. 
ft\ SfUfeel, 9Bctrad;tungcn i'tfcer dlatux unb (Srforfcr/ung ber $olarregionen. 

„*ttu3lanb" 1883 u. 1884. (Also as a separate impression.) 
Qlufgaben ber gcogra£t)ifcf/en gforf^ung in ber 5tntarfti8. 3Ser= 

franbtungen beg V. Deut(ct/en ©eograpfyentageg in Hamburg. ^Berlin 

% $enct\ Die crbgefct/icfytiict/e SBcbeutung ber (Subpofarforfdjimg. Ibid. 
@. ft. 2B. $etcrg, Die 3Sebeutung ber antarftifefyen ftorfefyung fiir bie 

©eobdfte. Ibid. 
«£. 9fte iter, Die (Sitb^olarfragc unb i^re ^Bcbeutung fur bie genetifct)e ©Ueberung 

ber (grbofterftact/c. 3 c itf^rift fiir nnffenfd)aft{icr/e ©eogra^ic. SBcimar 

1887. Vol. vi. Pt. 1. 
J. Murray, "The Exploration of the Antarctic Regions". 1886. Scot. 

Geogr. Mag. Vol. ii. 
"The Renewal of Antarctic Exploration". 1894. Geogr. 

Journ. Vol. iii. No. 1. 
St. briefer, bie (Sntftcfyung unb QSer6rcitung beg antarftifct/en Srcifrctfcg. 

(£. o, Dri)ga(gfi, Die @ubfcolarforfd)img unb bie *J}ro6fcmc beg Qfifeg. 

3Serf)anbIungcn b. XI. bcut(ct/en ©cograi^cntagcg $u Bremen. Berlin 

(£. Ratify offen, SOBefdjeg Sntereffe fyafrcn 3ooIogtc unb 3?otanif an b. (£r= 
forfc^ung beg (Sitb^olargefcieteg ? Ibid. 



Many of the above works contain maps, more especially those of 
Weddell, Dumont d'Urville, Wilkes and Ross. The more important 
recent maps are : — 

i. General Maps of the whole South Polar Region. 
<$. 0leumatyer, <SubpoIattartc nact) bcm gegcnrcartigen ©tanb be§ geograpl)i= 
fd)en unb ^ijfifaltf^en QBtffeng. 1:40,000,000. -Berlin 1872. 
3citfd)r. ber ©cfettftf). fi'tr (Srbfunbc. 
J. Murray, " Exploration of the Antarctic Regions". Scot. Geogr. Mag. 
1886. With map in the scale of about 1 : 45,000,000. 

" Renewal of Antarctic Explorations ". Geogr. Journ. 1894. 

Appended is a map of the South Polar Region in the same scale, 
as well as nine smaller maps representing marine sediments, ice, 
climate and terrestro-magnetism. 
t§. Sftctter, £>te QlntarftiS, 1 : 20,000,000. 3 e t t frt)rtft fur ttnffettfdjaftltdje 
©cogtavfye. 1887. 
The most important maps in modern Atlases are : — 
51. $etcrmann, @ub=^o(ar=Jtavtc, 1:40,000,000. @tteler8 <£>anbatla*, 
No. 7; and that in the Atlas Universel of 93 tine Tl be (St. 
Wl art in and (Scfyrabcr. 
An excellent map on a large scale is the (Sub^ofarrattc of — 
3Sinccn§ ». ^aarbt, 1:10,000,000, Vienna, 1895, with numerous 
insets exhibiting the physical conditions. 
Two maps by the British Admiralty should finally be mentioned :— 
Ice Chart of the Southern Hemisphere, No. 1241, and also 
South Polar Chart, No. 1240. 

The most valuable special map of recent times is : — 
^ricbrifefcen, Originalfarte beg £trtf=©l;crrit£= s 2lrcrnpe(3, mit SBeaJteitttjortcn. 
Hamburg, 1895. 


Active Sound, 124, 173, 174, 175. 
Adare, Cape, 95, 103, 130, 131, 195, 

197, 198, 199, 200, 207, 249, 268. 
Adelaide Island, 61, 128, 188, 189, 

I9 1 * 255. 

— Land, 78 ; 75, 86, 87. 
Adelie Land, 212, 215, 218, 244. 
Admiralty Bay, 177, 180, 181, 183, 


— Range, 95, 103, 198, 255. 
Adventure Bay, 55, 145, 149. 
Albert Mountains, Prince, 102, 201. 
Alexander, Cape, 172, 174, 175, 176. 

— Land, 191-4; 3, 4, 53, 61, 81, 
128, 132, 135, 186, 187, 188, 191, 

Anne, Cape, 200, 225. 
Annenkow Island, 144. 
Antarctic (the word), 1. 

— Ocean, 2. 
Arabs, 8. 
Aristotle, 6, 7. 
Ascension Island, 136. 
Aspland Island, 156, 158. 
Astrolabe Island, 179. 
Aurora Australis, 104, 105, 245. 

— Isles, 58. 
Austin Rocks, 171. 

Baffin's Bay, 1. 

Baie des Ravines, 78, 216, 217. 

Balleny Islands, 208 ; 103, 104, 130 

Balleny, John, 65-7 ; 81, 93, 209, 218 

Barbinais, Le Gentil de la, 29. 
Barnard's Peak, 160. 
Bayley, Mr., 36. 
Beaufort Island, 202 ; 197, 206. 
Behaim, Martin, 9. 
Bellingshausen, Capt. F. G. von, 49- 

54; 65> 142, 143, 150, 151, 159, 

160, 170, 188, 191, 192, 226. 
Bennett, Cape, 155. 
Berghaus, H., 47. 
Berkeley Sound, no. 
Bird, Cape, 202 ; 97, 101, 197. 
Birds, Antarctic, 270-2. 

Biscoe Islands, 61, 128, 129, 142, 188, 

Biscoe, John, 58-62 ; 65, 186, 187, 188, 

189, 191, 225-6, 262. 
Bismarck Straits, 118, 120, 172, 182, 

184, 185, 188, 249. 
Borchgrevingk, C. Egeberg, 129-31, 

197, 199, 200, 207, 269, 280. 
Borrodaile Island, 209. 
Bougainville, 33. 
Bounty Island, 60. 
Bouvet Islands, 136-9 ; 2, 3, 62, 64, 

114, 132, 135. 
Bouvet, Lozier, 30-2 ; 136, 137, 138. 
Boyd Straits, 74, 156, 169. 
Bransfield, Mount, 73, 176, 178. 
— Straits, 49, 57, 74, 120, 129, 

171, 172, 185, 249. 
Bransfield, Mr., 48. 
Bridgeman Island, 72, 162-4. 
Brisbane, Capt., 54. 
Bristol Island, 58, 152. 
Brouwer, 24. 
Bruce, W. S., 124, 236, 239, 244, 258, 

Buckle Island, 208, 209. 
Budd's Highland, 89, 212, 219. 
Buller, Cape, 13, 144. 
Burdwood Bank, 140, 141. 

Cabral, Pedralvarez, 10. 
Campbell Island, 65, 93, 130, 133. 
Cananea, Bay of, 10, n, 12. 
Candlemas Islands, 50, 63, 150. 
Cap de la Decouverte, 216. 
Carr, Cape, 4, 88, 212, 220. 
Case Point, 215. 
Castor Island, 187, 190. 
Charlotte, Cape, 13, 144. 
Chatham Island, 60, 106. 
Chimneys, the, 138. 
Christensen Island, 189. 

— Volcano, 127, 187. 
Christmas Harbour, 92. 
Circoncision, Cape, 33, 44, 47, 138. 
Clarence Island, 156 ; 48, 71, 72, 82, 

in, 125. 

— Land, 57, 




Clarie Coast v. Cote Clairie. 

Clerk's Rocks, 149. 

Climate of the Antarctic, 228-45. 

Oliver, 20 

Cockburn, Cape, 186. 

— Island, 183-4; II2 > x 77> 268. 
Columbus, Christopher, 14, 44. 
Conception, Cape, 154. 

Cook, Capt. James, 35-46; 8, 29, 53, 
56, 92, 136, 142, 143, 144, 146, 
147, 149, 151-2, 193, 194, 225. 

— John, 28. 
Cook's Glacier, 146. 
Cooper Island, 143, 144. 
Cordes, Simon de, 22. 
Corinthian Bay, 121. 
Cornwallis Island, 156, 157. 
Coronation Island, 153, 154. 
Corrv, Cape, 178. 

Cote Clairie, 79, 81, 88, 90, 212, 218, 

Cotter, Cape, 195, 200. 
Coulman Island, 96, 103, 130, 195, 

200, 201, 206. 
Cowley, Ambrose, 28. 
Croll, Dr. James, 256, 260. 
Crozet, 34. 

Crozet Islands, 2, 35, 92, 133. 
Crozier, Cape, 97, 98, 197, 203, 204. 
Crozier, Capt. Francis, 92, 99. 
Cumberland Bay, 144, 146. 

Dallmann Bay, 186. 

Dallmann, Capt., 120; 118, 172, 184, 

185, 186, 187, 188, 191. 
Dalrymple, Alexander, 32. 
Dampier, William, 28. 
Danger Islets, 111, 173, 176. 
Darwin. Charles, 147. 
Darwin Islet, in, 173. 
Davis, Edward, 28. 
Davis Land, 29. 
De Bry, Theodore, 19, 20. 
Deception Island, 164-9; 5$, 74, 82, 

117, 128, 135, 162, 171, 236. 
De Gerlache, 123, 131, 280. 
Diaz, Bartholomew, 9. 
Diego Alvarez Island v. Gough 

" Dina, Island of," 33. 
Dirk Gerritx v. Gerritz. 
Disappointment Bay, 86, 212, 215. 
Donald, Dr. Chas. W, 124, 125, 174-6. 

" Doubtlul Island," 102, 195, 197, 202. 
Dougherty, Capt., 119. 
Dougherty Island, 119, 132, 194. 
Drake, Francis, 18, 19, 20. 
Drake's Strait, 4, 133, 135, 175,241, 

Drygalski, E. von, 257, 278. 

Duclesmeur, 34. 

Dumont d'Urville, Capt. (Adm.), 69- 

81 ; 57, 6 7> J 52, 154, 158, 160, 

163, 164, 169, 171, 172, 179, 216, 

217, 218, 219, 244. 
Dumoulin Isles, 74. 
Dundas, Cape, 72, 153, 154. 
Dundee Island, 124, 173, 175, 176, 

178, 180, 255. 

— Whale Fishing Co., 123. 
D'Urville, Mount, 73, 178. 
D'Urville, Dumont, v. Dumont. 
D'Urville's Monument, 173. 

Eden Island, 173. 

Eld, Mr., 213. 

Eld's Peak, 212, 213, 214, 221. 

Elephant Island, 156 ; 48, 71, 72, 82, 

125, 126, 157. 
Elliot, Mount, 198. 
Emmon's Point, 215. 
Enderby & Co., 61, 64. 
Enderby Land, 223-7 '■> 4, 62, go, 

121, 132, 135, 249, 255, 262. 
Eratosthenes, 7. 
Erebus, Mount, 202-3 ; 97, 99, 101, 

102, 104, 197, 204, 243, 263. 

— and Terror Bay, 178. 

— — — Gulf, 112, 124. 
Etna Islet, in, 173, 176. 
Evensen, Capt., 128-29 ; 125, 187, 188,. 


Falkland Islands, 2, 11, 12, 14, 27, 
56, 58, 61, 109, no, 124, 127, 128, 
129, 139. 

Fauna of Arctic Regions, 266-73. 

Fernandez, Juan, 23, 42. 

Field Straits, 159. 

Fine, Oronce, 17. 

" Firn-snow," " Firn-ice," 248. 

Firth of Tay, 124, 173. 

Fitzroy, Cape, 172, 173. 

Fletcher, 18, 19. 

Floeberg Beach, 234. 

Flora of Arctic Regions, 266-73. 

Florien, 132. 

Forster, George, 36. 

— J.R.,36. 
Foster, Cape, 177, 180. 

— Mount, 170. 

Foster, Capt., 57-8; 68, 118, 165,. 

166, 169, 184, 185, 236. 
Fourneaux, 36, 54. 
Foyn Land, 127, 187. 
Foyn, Svend, 129. 
Framnoes, Cape, 126, 127, 190. 
Frances Island, 104. 



Franklin Island, 202 ; 97, 197, 206, 

Freeman, H., 65. 
Freeman, Mount, 209. 
Freezeland Peak, 152. 
Friedrichsen, 185. 
Friesland Island, 58. 

Xjage, Cape, 178, 180. 

Gardafui, Cape, 7, 8. 

Gauss, 75, 94, 105. 

Gauss, Cape, 102, 196, 197, 202. 

George, Cape, 144. 

George IV. Sea, 3. 

George's Island, King, 81, 158, 159, 

161, 163, 171. 
Georgia, South, 141-9 ; 2, 3, n, 12, 

13, 14, 27, 28, 32, 42, 45, 47> 50, 

53, 54, 55, 62, 123, 132, 135, 236, 

245, 246, 249, 250, 276. 

— — Island of, 139-49 ; 1 35 J 
its Flora, 266 ; its Fauna, 270, 

Gerritz Archipelago, Dirk, 170-86 ; 
3, 22, 23, 29, 47, 48, 57, 61, 125, 

132, 133, 135, 140 ; its Climate, 
240 ; its Fauna, 269. 

Gibb Island, 156, 158. 

Gibson Bay, 172, 173, 174. 

Gonneville, B. P. de, 15, 29, 30. 

Gordon, Cape, 178. 

Gough Island, 136. 

Graham's Land, 186-91 ; 3, 4, 61, 81, 

118, 120, 132, 135, 142, 171, 172, 

184, 206, 259. 
Gray, David and John, 123-5. 
Green Island, 144. 
Greenland, New South, 64. 
Greenwich Island, 159, 160, 164. 
Guyot, Ducloz, 32. 

Haddington, Mount, 112, 125, 177, 

180, 181, 244, 255, 263. 
Hann, Herr, 231-2, 238. 
Hawkins, 20. 
Hay, Capt., 30, 136. 
Heard Island, 119-20 ; 2, 119, 121, 

133, 224. 
Hermito Island, no. 
Herschell, Mount, 200. 
Hertha Island, 187, 190. 
Hilly Point, 12. 
Hipparchus, 7. 
Hoces, 18. 
Homann, 29. 
Hooker, 183. 

Hoorn, Cape, 24, 25, 27, 28. 
Hope Island, 73, 171. 

— Mount, 82. 
Hopper, Thomas, 47. 

Horn, Cape, 18. 
Horsburgh, James, 47. 
Hoseason Harbour, 185. 

— Island, 57, 185. 
Hudson, Capt, 79, 81, 83, 85, 214, 

Hughes Gulf, 171, 185. 
Humboldt, Alex, von, n, 13, 68, 106. 
Hylacomylus, 10. 

Ice of Antarctic Regions, 246-65. 

— Barrier, Great, 204-5 ; 5, 197, 

Iceberg Hill, 168. 
Inaccessible Rocks, the, 155. 
Island Bay, 144. 
Isle de France, 34. 

Jacquinot, Capt., 69. 
Jacquinot, Mount, 73, 171, 178. 
Jason Island, 187, 190. 

— Mountain, 126, 127, 190. 
"Johnson, Capt.," 64. 

— Lieut., 81, 166, 169. 
Johnson's Harbour v. South Bay. 
Joinville Island, 172-3 ; in, 112, 

124, 128, 129, 171, 175, 178. 

— Land, 73, in, 112. 
Jones, Cape, 200. 

Kaiser Wilhelm's Islands v. Wil- 

Kay Islets, 195. 
Keates, Capt., 119. 
Kemp, Mr., 62, 223. 
Kemp Land, 4, 62, 121, 132, 135, 223, 

Kendall, 165, 166, 185. 
Kendall Rocks, 171. 
Kerguelen-Tremarec, Yves J. de, 

34-5 5 2, S3, 45, 92. 
Kerguelen Island, 35, 38, 62, 92, 121, 

133, 182, 262. 
Kilwa, 7. 
King George's Island v. George's 


— Oscar II. Land v. Oscar II. 

Kinness, Cape, 172. 

" Klamms," 147. 

Klutschak, 146, 149. 

Knox's Highland, 89, 212, 219, 220. 

Kuprianow, Cape, 144. 

Larsen, Capt., 125-8 ; 129, 152, 160, 
164, 172, 176, 181, 182, 184, 185, 
187, 189, 190, 249, 263, 270. 

Larsen Island, 190. 

Laurie, Mr., 73. 

Laurie Island, 153, 154. 




Lazarew, Capt., 49. 

Le Maire, 23, 24. 

Le Maire Straits, 18, 24, 27. 

Lewthwaite Straits, 153, 154. 

L'Hermite, 25. 

Lindenberg Cone, 127, 187, 189. 

Lindsay, James, 47, 137, 138. 

Little Haven, 146. 

Liverpool Island, 64, 137, 138. 

Livingston Island, 160, 164, 249. 

Ljeskow Island, 150. 

Loayasa, G. Jofre de, 18. 

Lockyer, Cape, 177, 180. 

Louis-Philippe Land, 176-9 ; 48, 49, 
73, 74, 81-2, in, 112, 113, 123, 
124, 127, 128, 172, 184, 244 ; its 
Fauna, 270. 

Low Island, 169, 171. 

McCormick, 181. 
Macdonald Islands, 119. 
MacFarlane Straits, 159. 
MacMurdo Bay, 195, 197, 202, 207. 
Macquarie Island, 85, 130, 133. 
Madagascar, 8, 9. 
Magellan, 17, 18, 44. 
Magellan, Straits of, 16, 18, 19, 20, 

23, 24, 70, 140, 161. 
Marion du Frezne, 33. 
Marion Islands, 2, 35, 45, 92, 133. 
" Marsween, Island of," 33. 
Mas'udi, 8. 

Melbourne, Mount, 96, 102, 196, 201. 
Mendana, 23. 

Mercator, Gerhard, 17, 20, 23. 
Middle Island, 162, 164. 
Montague Island, 58, 152. 
Monteagle, Mount, 195, 201. 
Moody, Cape, 172, 173. 
Moore, Lieut, 118-9; 136, 139. 
Morrell, Mr., 62-4. 
Mowbray Bay, 195. 
Murdoch, Burn (artist), 124. 
Murray, John, 224, 227, 277. 

Nansen, Dr., 125, 241, 252, 257, 280. 
Nares, Sir George, 121-2, 221. 
Narrow Island, 156, 158. 
Nelson Island, 159. 
— Straits, 159. 
Neumayer, Georg, 120-1 ; 119, 275-6, 

New Guinea, 23. 
Noort, Olivier van, 22. 
Nordenskiold, Baron, 277. 
N orris, Capt., 64, 137, 138, 139. 
North, Cape, 103, 194, 195, 198, 199, 


— Foreland, 158. 

North's Highland, 88, 219. 
Novoselskji Bay, 144. 

O'Brien Island, 156, 158. 
Oceana Association, 125. 

— Isles, 187, 190. 
Orange Harbour, 82, 83, 84. 
Orkney Islands, South, 152-5 ; 3, 48, 

53> 54> 7 1 ' 72, 125, 132, 142, 249 ; 

their Climate, 236 ; its Ice, 264. 
Orleans Channel, 74, 177, 178, 184, 

Oscar II. Land, King, 126, 127, 187, 

190, 263 ; its Fauna, 270. 

Palmer, 48. 

Palmer Land, 49, 54, 57, 61, 74, 81, 

82, 117, 118, 120, 127, 172, 184, 

185, 186, 188. 
Parry, Mount, 186. 

— Mountains, 204 ; 98, 206. 
Paulet Island, 173, 176. 
Paumotu Islands, 51. 

Peacock Bay, 85, 87, 214, 221, 222. 

Pedersen, Capt., 125, 129. 

Pendleton, 48. 

Percy, Mount, 112, 172, 174, 175. 

Periplus, the, 7. 

Peschel, O., 13, 132. 

Peter I. Island, 3, 4, 83, 132, 19?, 

193, 262. 
Petermann, Dr., 132, 213. 
Petersen, Dr., 189. 
Philipps, Cape, 195, 201, 207. 
Pickersgill Island, 144. 
Piner's Bay, 88, 216, 221. 
Pinkney, Lieut., 85, 87. 
Pisco, Mount, 170. 
Pitt Island, 189, 191. 
Point des Francais, 172, 173. 
Pointe Geologie, 216, 221. 
Polar Light, 245. 
Porpoise Bay, 219. 
Port Louis, no. 
Possession Bay, 144, 146, 147. 

— Cape, 57, 185. 

— Island, 130, 131, 195, 197, 200, 
206, 268. 

Powell Islands, 153. 

Powell, Mr., 48, 54, 152, 155, 160, 165, 

Precipitation, 241-5. 
Prince Albert Mountains v. Albert. 

— Edward Island v. Marion 

Prise de Possession, Isle de la, 34. 
Ptolemy, 7, 8. 
Puerto Valdes, 54. 
Purvis, Cape, 173. 



Rea, Lieut., 62. 

Reiter, Hans, 133, 139, 206-7. 

Reptiles and Amphibia, 272. 

Return, Cape, 154. 

Reynold, Mr., 213. 

Reynold's Peak, 212, 213, 214. 

Rhaptum, 7. 

Riddley Isles, 81. 

Ringgold, Lieut., 90-1 ; 85, 213, 219, 

Ringgold's Knoll, 210, 212, 213, 220, 

Robert Island, 159. 
Robertson Bay, 195. 

— Island, 127, 187, 189, 190. 
Robertson, Capt., 124. 
Robinson Crusoe's Island, 23. 
Roche, Antonio de la, 27. 
Rochon, 34. 

Roggers, Woodes, 29. 

Roggeween, Jacob, 29. 

Roosen Straits, 186. 

Rosamel Island, 173. 

Ross, James Clark, 92-117; 47, 64, 
67, 69, 126, 136, 139, 145, 146, 
172, 173, i74» 175, 178, 180, 181, 
183, 184, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 
200, 201, 202, 204, 207, 208, 209, 
226, 235, 238, 239-40, 243, 244, 
256, 263, 269. 

Ross Sea, 5, 194, 207, 222, 238, 240, 
243, 262, 263, 269, 273. 

Row Island, 209. 

Royal Bay, 123, 135, 144, 145, 146, 

— Company Island, 75. 

— Society of London, 68. 
Rugged Island, 160. 
Russell Islands, 209, 210. 

— Peak, 104, 209. 

Sabine, Edward, 57, 68. 
Sabine, Mount, 95, 198, 199. 
Sabrina Land, 81, 89, 219. 
Saddle Island, 72, 154. 
St. John, Cape of, 140. 
St. Mary's Bay, 144. 
San Iago, Gulf of, 12. 
San Pedro, Isla da, 32. 
San Sebastiano, Gulf of, 18. 
Sandwich Bay, 144. 

— Islands, South, 149-52 ; 2, 3, 
28, 58, 63, 132, 139, 141, 249. 

— Land, South, 44, 50, 54. 
Sarmiento, 20. 

Saunders, Cape, 144. 

— Island, 150, 151, 152. 
Sawadowskji, 50. 
Schoner, Johannes, 16, 17. 
Schouten, 23. 

Sea-swallow, 51. 

Seal Islands, 127, 187, 189. 

Seals, Antarctic, 269-70, 273. 

Seleucus, 7. 

Seymour, Cape, 177. 

— Island, 181-2; 112, 125, 126, 
177, 180. 

Shag Rocks, 141. 

Sharp, Bartholomew, 28. 

Sheffield, Capt. James, 48. 

Shelvoke, George, 29. 

Sheriff, Capt., 48. 

Shetland Islands, South, 155-62 ; 22 
49, 53, 54, 56, 57, 61, 69, 73, 81, 
117, 127, 128, 132, 133, 135, 142, 
170 ; their Climate, 236 ; their 
Ice, 246, 249, 250, 264 ; its Flora, 
267-8 ; its Fauna, 270 ; its 
Coal-beds, 273. 

Sibbald, Cape, 195, 201. 

Simon's Bay, 114, 118. 

Smiley, Capt. Wm. G., 117-8, 169, 

Smith, Leigh, 124. 

— William, 47-8 ; 22, 159, 161. 

Smith Inlet, 195. 

— Island, 57, 74, 104, 169. 
Snow Island, 74, 113, 158, 160, 169, 177. 

— Land, 127, 177, 180, 181, 255. 

— Line, 248-9. 
Snowhill, 112. 
Sofala, 8. 

South Bay, 160, 

— Cape, 143, 144. 

— East Cape, 144. 

— Foreland, Cape, 158, 163. 
Sowadowskji Island, 149, 150, 152. 
Sparrmann, 36. 

Spence Harbour, 155. 

Staaten Island, 18, 24, 140. 

Steinen, v.d., 270. 

Sterna (sea-swallow), 51. 

Stewart Island, 130, 206. 

Strabo, 7. 

Sturge Island, 208. 

Suess, E., 140, 147. 

Sunda Isles, 8, 207. 

Surville, 34. 

Sydney Herbert Bay, 177. 

Tasman, Abel, 24, 28, 37. 

Tay, Firth of, 124. 

Termination Land, 90, 212, 220, 221. 

Terre d'Esperance, 34. 

Terror, Mount, 203-4 ; 97, 99, 101. 

103, 197, 255. 
Thompson Island, 64, 138. 
Thomson, Sir Wyville, 257. 
Thule, Southern, 43, 149, 152. 



Thiirach, Hans, 148. 

Tierra del Fuego, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 

24, 25, 56, 8t, 123, 127, 129, 140, 

Torres Straits, 23. 
Totten's Highland, 89, 219. 
Traversey Islands, 50, 63, 150. 
Tres Puntas, Cape, 12. 
Trinity Land, 184-5 ; 49, 57, 74, 81, 

120, 127, 171, 172. 
Tristan d'Acunha Island, 13G. 
Tucker Bay, 195, 200. 

Vanhoffen, E., 278. 

Varnhagen, 11. 

Vasco da Gama, 9. 

Vera Cruz, Ilha da, 10, 14. 

Vespucci, Amerigo, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 
17, 142. 

Victoria Land, 194-208; 5, 101, 102, 
103, 116, 131, 132, 133, 135, 193, 
249, 255 ; its Climate, 234, 240. 

Vogel Island, 144. 

Wafer, Lionel, 28. 

Wagner, Hermann, 5. 

Wales, Mr., 36. 

Walker, Lieut., 48, 81, 83-4, 192, 193, 

Warekauri Island v. Chatham Island. 
Washington, Cape, 102, 196. 

Washington Straits, 153, 154. 
Webster, 165, 166, 168, 169, 185. 
Weddell, James, 54-6 ; 3, 48, 61, 143, 

149, 152, 153, 154, 160, 164, 170 

226, 262, 270, 273. 
Weddell Glacier, 146, 148. 

— Island, 154. 
"Weddell Sea," 3, 243, 262. 
Wetter Island, 127, 187, 190. 
" Wetterwand," the, 145. 
Weyprecht, Herr, 276. 
Wheatstone, Cape, 200. 
Wilhelm's Islands, Kaiser, 120, 188 

Wilkes, Charles, 81-91 ; 62, 66, 70, 

79, 92, 163, 164, 210, 214, 216, 

218, 219, 220, 238, 243, 244. 
Wilkes Land, 210-23 ; 4, 39, 79, 91, 

121, 122, 132, 133, 135, 208, 244, 

249, 255, 262 ; its Climate, 235-6, 

Will, Dr., 266. 
Williams, Mount, 186. 
Willis Island, 28, 143, 144, 145. 
Wood Bay, 195. 
Wysokji Island, 150. 

Young Island, 209. 
Yule Bay, 195, 198. 

Zanzibar, 9. 



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G Fricker, Karl 

860 The Antarctic regions 






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